The general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine announced that it had deployed for the first time a new drone against artillery used by Russian-supplied rebels in Donbas, writes The Week.
The general staff announced on Facebook that separatists in Donbas had used heavy artillery in violation of a ceasefire. The rebels fired the artillery on Tuesday afternoon, leaving one Ukrainian soldier dead and at least one injured.
The Ukrainian military claimed it warned the rebels against using the artillery, but they did not comply. This led to Ukraine deploying a Bayraktar TB2 drone, acquired from Turkey. The general staff said the drone did not cross the border and destroyed one rebel gun using a bomb. Following this, the shelling stopped. The general staff informed the weapon destroyed was a D-30 howitzer, a 122mm towed gun.
The Kremlin took note of the development. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Reuters as saying Russia’s “fears about Turkey’s decision to sell strike drones to Ukraine were being realized... Turkish drones risked destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine”.
The Bayraktar TB2 is a small-sized medium altitude, long-endurance (MALE) drone. According to its manufacturer, Baykar, the Bayraktar TB2 has a maximum take-off weight of 700kg and can stay airborne for up to 27 hours. In addition to surveillance missions, the Bayraktar TB2 can attack ground targets using small missiles and guided bombs.