A new video shows a Ukrainian unmanned ground vehicle carrying explosives to blast a road bridge.
The robotic vehicle travels over two miles to get to its destination, dodging potential threats along the way.
Uncrewed ground vehicles have been used previously in Ukraine to plant explosives, carry supplies, and clear mines.
New footage from the war in Ukraine to show an unmanned ground vehicle loaded up with explosives driving for miles to hit a road bridge.
The robotic drone's journey, which includes carefully navigating around what appears to be unexploded ordnance and across frozen landscapes, highlights the role unmanned ground vehicles are playing, from transporting ammunition to clearing minefields to apparently carrying out explosive suicide missions.
The video was shared online this week by open source information accounts. The footage seems to have initially been posted to Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko Telegram account. Business Insider was unable to independently verify the reported details of the video, but the caption accompanying the video said this vehicle traveled over two miles.
⚡️A 🇺🇦Ukrainian ground-based kamikaze drone equipped with 55-kilogram explosives overcame 4 km of enemy-controlled territory and disabled a road bridge pic.twitter.com/QoBvbzdqlY
— 🇺🇦Ukrainian Front (@front_ukrainian) January 25, 2024
At the start of the video footage, a soldier inspects the UGV, packed with explosives, before it's remotely driven off to its destination, traveling along dirt and snowy paths.
The video, which appears to have been filmed by an airborne drone, tracks the vehicle's slow but steady journey out in the open, including the moment the UGV almost runs into what appears to be an unexploded rocket lying in a field near an abandoned tank.
Eventually, the drone makes its way to the underpass of a large road bridge, subsequently exploding beneath it. The extent of the damage is unclear.
The UGV's suicide mission was supposedly across enemy-controlled territory, Tsaplienko wrote on Telegram.
UGVs serve in a variety of roles for Ukraine and have been documented carrying ammunition to troops, transporting and planting landmines, and clearing explosive threats from the battlefield. Russia uses them as well, as can be seen in the video below of a Uran-6 mine-clearing vehicle.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) June 12, 2022
Some UGVs, like the THeMIS vehicle Ukraine has, are designed to evacuate injured troops and transport supplies.
Shortly after confirmation of the first delivery of THeMIS to Ukraine, a Russian think tank with ties to Russia's military establishment offered a large cash reward of 1 million rubles, of $16,000, to anyone who could capture one of the drones and deliver it mostly intact to Russia's Defense Ministry.
The ground support and combat roles differ from what many other unmanned systems do in Ukraine. Many unmanned systems perform missions similar to the one in the video of the UGV: driving, sailing, or flying to a target and exploding.
UAVs, which have shaped much of the fighting in Ukraine, are often employed for one-way strike missions, dropping explosives, and reconnaissance. The FPV drone strikes in particular have been tough on both sides. Ukraine has also used exploding drone boats, unmanned surface vessels, or USVs, loaded with explosives, to strike targets at sea.
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