• Ukraine has unveiled a new drone that it says can fly far behind enemy lines and is immune to Russian jamming.
  • According to Ukraine, the Backfire has a range of 20 miles and is equipped with a GPS antenna for navigation.
  • Both Ukraine and Russia have made advances in drone technology as UAVs have dominated the war.

Ukraine has unveiled a new drone and says the model can fly far behind enemy lines and resist persistent Russian jamming.

It’s the latest development in the ongoing drone war in Russia and Ukraine, accelerated by continued technological advances and the ubiquitous role of drones on and off the battlefield.

On Monday, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for innovation, education, science and technology, announced the development of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV Backfire), calling it a “powerful drone that flies at a range of up to 20 miles.” behind enemy positions and causes colossal losses.”

Specifically, Federov said the drone would help Ukrainian forces “attack Russian artillery, logistical hubs, enemy storage points and command posts.” – reported the Ukrainian “Pravda”..

Fedorov noted on X, the social networking site formerly known as Twitter, that Backfire’s main feature is a “powerful GPS antenna, resistant to Russian jamming” and electronic warfare. This antenna, Fedorov added, “is almost impossible to disrupt,” Ukrainska Pravda said, and thanks to the drone’s “complete autonomy, the Russians are unable to track its coordinates or the ground crew.”

And while the Backfire drone will soon be mass-produced and join other Ukrainian combat UAVs, Fedorov said it has already flown 50 or more successful missions over the past few months.

Ukrainian soldiers build homemade drones during the Russia-Ukraine war in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, August 16, 2023.

Ukrainian soldiers build homemade drones during the Russia-Ukraine war in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine.

Ignacio Marin Agency/Anadolu via Getty Images

Backfire is Ukraine’s latest development in a fierce drone war that has kept both sides on edge as technological advances force constant innovation. Soldiers regularly use drones in combat — one Ukrainian soldier said in September that his unit hadn’t actually fired its rifles in half a year and often used drones in combat.

Throughout the conflict, relatively cheap UAVs eliminated tanks and armored vehicles, mostly asymmetric targets, and virtually anything that moved on the battlefield. War films regularly show first-person view (FPV) drones colliding with tanks, flying into open hatches of armored vehicles, sneaking up on soldiers in trenches and exploding on impact.

Their buzzing overhead is a constant reminder of danger and signals that at any moment an exploding UAV could fly towards an unsuspecting target. Both Ukraine and Russia are actively engaged in something of a drone arms race, which has pushed them to seek new technologies to defeat the other.

In addition to autonomous drones, operators have also become crucial for both Ukraine and Russia as they develop a variety of specific flight and control skills. But their value also makes them key targets for enemies, leading to operators attacking each other with their drones.

However, as the influence of drones grows, efforts must be made to stop them. The front lines are flooded with jamming technology that disrupts drone navigation controls. While operator-controlled drones are typically less susceptible to this and cheaper if lost or destroyed in battle, jamming is still a major problem. This makes Ukraine’s new Backfire’s potential to block Russian interference so significant, giving Ukraine the advantage it needs to fly along and behind enemy lines.


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