Warning to anyone flying consumer drones in Ukraine as Russian military may have you in its crosshairs

We’ve seen several individuals sending or even hand-delivering consumer drones to the military in recent days to assist with the battle against Russian aggressors.

Supporting the Ukrainian military by donating consumer drones is a wonderful thing to do, but be very careful of flying consumer drones, such as Mini drones, in Ukraine right now.

Risks of flying consumer drones in Ukraine right now

The Russian military may have access to DJI Aeroscope, according to rumors, which would allow them to view any DJI drone as well as the position of the drone pilot.

Apart from , the Russian army possesses more powerful and advanced technology that may pick up on the radio transmission signals between any drone and its remote pilot.

Kevin Finisterre, a name that may ring a for people who have been around drones for more than a few years, shared the following press release on Twitter.

The press statement, dated February 22, 2021, is from the Russian company Rosoboronexport (part of Rostec State Corporation) and informs us about its “New Approaches to Building an Integrated Counter UAV System.”

Rosoboronexport’s anti-drone system is “capable of effectively countering attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles, combining electronic warfare and air defense systems of various classes.”

The Russian anti-drone system can not only detect and jam any unmanned aircraft, but it may also destroy the drone with a variety of techniques. And most likely the remote pilot in command or drone operator as well.

To just give a taste of what methods the Russian military might deploy in such a situation:

“As a hard-kill component of its counter UAV system, Rosoboronexport offers short-range air defense systems, in particular, KBP’s Pantsir-S1M self-propelled anti-aircraft gun/missile (SPAAGM) system or Almaz-Antey’s Tor-type SAM system.”

“These systems are capable of effectively engaging a variety of air attack weapons, including UAVs. The Pantsir-S1M SPAAGM has missile and gun armament and destroys air targets at up to 30 km in range and up to 18 km in altitude. The Tor-M2E’s engagement envelope against air targets is 15 km in range and 10 km in altitude.”

“The ‘last-ditch’ air defense will be best provided by the Verba or Igla-S MANPADS, as well as the Gibka-S MANPADS squad combat vehicles, capable of firing Verba or Igla-S MANPADS. These MANPADS can destroy targets at a maximum range of 6 km and at a maximum altitude of 3.5 km.”

You can read more about the details of this Russian counter-drone system here.

In the meantime, I would take Kevin Finisterre’s warning very seriously:

“I also assume folks do know Electronic Warfare in theater is often based on detecting RC/telemetry like communications being used to set off IED’s. All I can say is be really f*cking careful before something RF sensing finds you & sends shells your way.”

On Facebook, in another discussion related to the three Finnish friends delivering drone to Ukrain, Paul Harrera said:

“Civilans drone operators have a LOT to go learn when it comes to military operations. I’ll just say they can be used but better be away from populated areas. It will also likely be a high-risk/suicide operation. The enemy will easily tap into the feeds and now have precision coordinates for rockets and artillery at the operator. Exercise extreme caution and don’t launch and land from area of main operations. Good intentions but will get operators killed. Before people get upset I’ve done this for over a decade and several years in combat zones.”

He continued to explain that:

“Yeah I’ve seen what they [Russians] have. Hell, I’ve used some of it. As soon as you power the controller or drone on. Your location is known within 10 seconds. 🤷‍♂️ don’t make the mistake of underestimating the enemy.”

Also don’t forget that many modern, if not all, DJI drones use the Russian Glonass GPS… You have been warned.

Warning To Anyone Flying Consumer Drones In Ukraine As Russian Military May Have You In Its Crosshairs 1

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Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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