About usage of unmanned aerial vehicles by Islamists in Syria and Iraq and the experience of combating them

M.V. Kazanin about usage of unmanned aerial vehicles by Islamists in Syria and Iraq and the experience of combating them (abridged version)

According to the British media, the Chinese company DJI - the world leader in the production of civil unmanned aerial vehicles - has made adjustments to the software of its UAVs. In fact, DJI specialists hardcoded the coordinates of the "no-fly zones" in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic (22 zones) and Iraq (16 zones) in memory of the devices so that the militants of Islamist groups could not use either for reconnaissance or for shelling government troops.

Most of the fighters of the international terrorist organization use fairly cheap models of the Phantom series (the cost varies from 2000 to 5000 yuan depending on the equipment), which can fly to a range of 1 to 7 km and climb to a height of 1 km. Thanks to high-definition cameras, easy maintenance, affordable cost of individual components, Chinese civilian UAVs deserved popularity among the fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS, banned in Russia). The competition of DJI company is trying to create a young company G10, but the performance characteristics of their products (UAV series UPAIR) are not comparable with the capabilities of the tested devices series Phantom, Inspire, M-600 and the most modern MATRICE.

It should be noted that the greatest number of cases of using Islamists UAVs recorded in Iraq, as well as in northern Syria against the Armed Forces of Turkey. To strike attacks on positions and equipment of government forces, militants set trimming of plastic pipes with a diameter of 45 mm, with a wire holder for a grenade from a 40 mm grenade launcher of American production.

In the publications of Chinese experts, it is noted that Islamists' "kulibinas" are trying to ensure the accuracy of hitting by installing additional empennage, made by handicraft. In fact, the exact defeat is due to the high definition of the camcorder installed on the UAV and the high resolution of the screen on the control panel. Similar conclusions were made possible by analyzing photo and video materials provided by the Iraqi Armed Forces, who are taking part in the operation to liberate Mosul from the ISIS militants.

Chinese analysts note that Iraqi military units adopted tactics of using civilian UAVs for terrorists and use more expensive and load-lifting devices of the MATRICE series to detect and bombard the disguised positions of militants with ammunition to the grenade launchers. Following such tactics indicates that the command of the operation for the release of Mosul is not subordinated to the electronic intelligence / electronic warfare units equipped with modern equipment that would be able both to intercept the control signals of the drones, and to identify the location of the enemy's operators, which is of great importance than the destruction of each individual apparatus.

However, recent reports in the PRC media indicate that at the disposal of the Iraqi Armed Forces operating in the area of Mosul appeared directed jammers EAGLES model (manufactured by Starjet Technologies Co., Ltd, PRC) to fight with UAVs. Chinese designers used this machine as a convenient platform for carrying and using the M16 rifle frame, on which a directional antenna and a noise generator were installed, which are connected to the battery.

According to the representatives of Starjet Technologies Co., Ltd, the EAGLES system was originally intended for equipping the units of the MSS PRC and Chinese People's Liberation Army to combat low-flying and low-speed UAVs by interfering with the channel of the GPS control system of the vehicle. During the formation of interference, the UAV loses its orientation in space, however, in most devices, two protection modules are built in. The first module provides a soft landing, and the second guarantees the return of the UAVs to the recorded route.

The maximum range of the portable system is 1100 m and the closer the operator of the portable system to the UAV, the better the effect. Maximum exposure time per one UAV is 3 seconds, after which it is possible to work on another device. However, if necessary, it is possible to permanently impact one UAV to force it to land. This system is based on a frame from small arms, which allows you to radically improve the accuracy of targeting and not to harm other civilian systems that operate in the L1, L2 bands, which are now also available to civilians.

Full text (in Russian): http://www.iimes.ru/?p=34460

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