A recent video chronicles a clandestine Ukrainian drone mission aimed at decimating Russian military assets with the help of civilian DJI drones. This innovative drone warfare was captured on the Eastern Front in March 2023 and uploaded to Youtube.
The footage, recorded on a GoPro strapped to a Western volunteer drone operator, presents an unfiltered perspective of the skirmish. Using modified DJI Mavic 3 drones paired with RC-N1 remote controllers, the Ukrainian forces conduct their operations from a war-scarred apartment building.
Each drone, outfitted with various explosives, performs remarkably. Whether dropping a grenade suspended by a wire or explosives equipped with 3D printed fins, the mission unfolds with striking precision.
The release mechanism, triggered by the auxiliary light activation in theDJI Fly app, isn't without flaws but serves its purpose effectively.
The video uploader, who wished to remain anonymous, emphasized the arduous task of anonymizing the footage, saying it required “hacking anonymization, 3-D printed dropping devices and plenty of ingenuity, both tactically and hands-on to get the job done.”
He also stressed the importance of hand warmers for operators and batteries in frigid conditions.
Civilian DJI drones play important role
Amidst the drone activities, off-screen explosions verify the frontline reality. The drones are launched from a gaping hole in the damaged building, moving to a makeshift control center situated in an apartment bedroom.
The operator warned that the DJI drones are prone to jamming and spoofing by Russian forces due to their significant investment in jamming systems.
The drone operator reveals that Russian soldiers shelter in the basements of ruined houses. The drone targets these hideouts, dropping grenades to block entrances and destroy the assets. To aid in precision, the operator utilizes the crosshair setting on the DJI Mavic 3.
One drone, shown with a propeller damaged by enemy fire, demonstrates the risks involved. Several grenades are dropped; while one misses the mark, another succeeds, illustrating the tense balance of these operations.
A drone operator notes a stubborn release mechanism, saying “the light is on, but it's not releasing.”
In essence, this unprecedented footage showing a military drone operation from the inside, underscores the influential role that civilian drones, predominantly from Chinese manufacturer DJI, are playing in the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Photos courtesy of CivDiv.
Get your Part 107 Certificate
Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.
FTC: DroneXL.co uses affiliate links that generate income.* We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.