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Ukrainian forces are using 'flocks' of FPV drones led by 'queen' drone to attack Russian positions, soldier says

Ukrainian serviceman launches a kamikaze FPV drone at a front line near the city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian serviceman launches a kamikaze FPV drone at a front line near the city of Bakhmut.REUTERS
  • Ukrainian forces are using "flocks" of FPV drones led by "queen" drones, a Russian soldier said.

  • It may allow smaller drones to land and conserve battery power.

  • FPV drones have been particularly crucial to Ukraine's war effort.

Ukrainian forces are using "flocks" of FPV (first-person-view) drones led by "queen" drones to attack Russian positions, a Russian serviceman said in an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia.

In a video shared on X, formerly Twitter, by a military blogger, the soldier described an encounter with a swarm of drones led by a "repeater drone queen."

He said Ukrainian forces sent a "large wing with a repeater" that broadcasted a signal to a group of smaller FPV drones flying underneath it.

These then dropped onto Russian positions, he added.

"A flock of around 10—the Queen is somewhere above at a high altitude in a small detection range. It brings the flock of drones, which then descend onto positions and start working," he said.

Izvestia correspondent Dmitry Zimenkin, who interviewed the soldier, said the tactic allowed Ukrainian drone operators to "land and wait" with their smaller drones, "saving batteries," Newsweek reported.

"When a large mother drone spots targets, the kamikazes take off, sometimes several meters from the target, and attack. If the Queen is eliminated, then her entire flock can be neutralized," Zimenkin said, per Newsweek.

FPV drones have been used by both Russian and Ukrainian forces since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, and they have proved to be an effective and low-cost weapon.

They have been particularly crucial to Ukraine's war effort, enabling Ukrainian drone squads to attack deep into Russian territory while helping to limit losses to their ground forces.

But drone warfare has meant both sides are struggling to make any advances, Gleb Molchanov, a Ukrainian drone operator, told The Guardian.

"It's a war of armor against projectiles. At the moment, projectiles are winning," he added.

Read the original article on Business Insider