A Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) hit a Russian military column in the Chornobaivka, in southern Ukraine, in what is the second known operation of the UAV against Russian assets since October 2021.
In a video shared by the Ukrainian Army on Facebook on February 27, footage seen via the Turkish-built armed drone’s WESCAM MX-15D EO/IR targeting and designating system showed a missile fired from the UAV destroying a larger Russian military column.
Shortly after that video was shared, Ukraine shared, via one of its many social channels, what appeared a separate Bayraktar strike against Russian vehicles.
Both videos from Sunday appeared to show the UAVs employing much more potent missiles than the one used in October 2021, when the Bayraktar scored its first operational kill against a D-30 howitzer operated by Russian-backed separatists in Donbas.
It was believed back then that the missile used against the howitzer was a MAM-C missile, while the ones employed by the recent operations are either the 22-kg MAM-L or the 94-kg MAM-T missiles.
What makes the recent operations stand out is that they showcase that Ukraine is capable of staging aerial operations four days into the large-scale invasion Russia launched against Ukraine. Despite massing more than 150,000 troops on Ukrainian borders, Russia’s attack is not progressing as fast as Russian president Vladimir Putin had hoped.
The Bayraktar TB2 UAVs has been in service with the Ukrainian Army since April 2021, after first units were ordered in 2019.
The Bayraktar TB2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV (MALE UAV) capable of conducting surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks and combat missions using guided missiles carried on four pylons under the wings.
The system’s avionics enable fully autonomous taxiing, take-off, flight and landing. The drone is 6.5 meters long and has a span of 12 meters. It achieves a flight duration of up to 27 hours with a maximum take-off weight of 650 kilograms.