Tag Archives: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

This tiny Camcopter will help OSCE monitoring the shaky ceasefire in Ukraine

Schiebel Camcopter used by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine made its first flight.

On Oct. 23, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) successfully completed the first flight of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 in eastern Ukraine.

The UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), flown by several operators across the world, are provided, flown and maintained by the Austrian vendor Schiebel, under contract to the OSCE, and operated under the authority and direction of the SMM, with the Mission’s monitors in close attendance.

The task of the S-100 is to provide complementary aerial information-gathering that will be used to monitor the general security situation in Ukraine and the shaky ceasefire. Furthermore, the Camcopter will be used for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Minsk Protocol of 5 September and the Minsk Memorandum of Sept. 19, 2014.

According to OSCE, the SMM’s UAV will operate over the area south of Donetsk down to the Sea of Azov, eastwards as far as the Ukrainian-Russian state border and westwards towards the line of contact: a “SAM-infested region” where anti-aircraft systems have been quite lethal against all types of aircraft. But a tiny Camcopter is harder to spot and shoot down.

Image credit: Schiebel

 

This video allegedly shows a Hezbollah killer drone incinerate Al Qaeda militants in Lebanon

It looks like Hezbollah is using its weaponized drones to attack Al Qaeda targets in Lebanon.

Not only Hamas operates armed UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) like the one flown over Gaza some weeks ago. Even Lebanon-based Hezbollah is employing its weaponized drones to bomb enemy positions in Lebanon, near the Syrian border.

Hezbollah has already launched remotely piloted vehicles over Israel in the past, some of those have been intercepted and shot down by the Israeli Air Force, however, this is the first time the terrorist group use their UAV to perform an air strike on enemy targets.

The first attack struck the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) positions near Arsal, close to the border with Syria.

The video below purportedly shows the attack of the Hezbollah drone.

It is impossible to determine the type of UAV used to conduct the air strike; even if it appears to be a quite simple drone (at least based on the symbology of the onboard camera which filmed video released by the group), it’s probably armed (provided it really fired the missile) and possibly accurate enough to target and strike individuals on the ground.

H/T to Matt Fanning and Guido Olimpio for the link to the video

 

This is how a Reaper drone is deployed to Afghanistan. In Kit Form.

Did you know RAF delivered its five Reaper UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) as if they were model kits?

The Royal Air Force has just deployed five more MQ-9 Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft that have joined the five Reapers already there and support ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) operations in Afghanistan. Interestingly, the drones are delivered as model kits and re-assembled at Kandahar airfield as the following images, released by the UK MoD.

Reaper model kit

Along with the images of the British have also released some figures about the air strikes against Taliban conducted by the RAF unmanned aircraft in theater with LGBs (Laser-Guided Bombs) and Hellfire missiles:

“In over 54,000 hours of operations using Reaper in Afghanistan, only 459 weapons have been fired, which is less than one weapon for every 120 hours of flying.”

Reaper model kit 3

And here’s the reassembled Reaper:

Reaper model kit 4

Image credit: Crown Copyright

 

ISIS surveillance drone is only an amateurish remote-controlled quad-copter

Drones used by ISIS militants are remotely-controlled products you can buy online for about 500 USD rather than something comparable to real UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).

Even though some media outlets reported that ISIS have acquired unmanned capabilities, after a video posted on Youtube showed Islamic militants using a “surveillance drone” in Syria, the technology used by the terrorist organization is something quite amateurish.

Indeed, the footage was filmed by a Phantom FC40, a famous commercial remote-controlled quad-copter that, according to the vendor DJI Innovations, comes with a smart camera, which supports 720p/30fps HD video and can be controlled (and maybe hacked) through an iOS or Android app running over a 2.4G Wi-Fi connection.

Phantom-FC40

Image credit: DIJ

The Phantom FC40 is not a professional system: it is in the “For Everyone” category, meaning that it is ready to fly and almost everyone can safely fly it.

ISIS used this type of UAS to film Tabqa airfield that they later captured.

Even though they probably found the imagery from the Phantom useful to get a rough idea of the enemy positions before the attack, this commercial drone does not enable the militants to scout details out from long distance in real time nor wait for hours until relevant people appears on the scene as real UAVs can do.

In other words, a Phantom FC40 is far from being the sophisticated UAS (Unmanned Air System) that would give ISIS at least a basic unmanned capability as that owned by Hamas. But it gave the militants some exposure and most probably worked for their propaganda purposes.

In July, the military wing of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades, showed footage of an Ababil A1B over Gaza Strip.

H/T to Giuliano Ranieri for the link to the video

 

Another Israeli drone reportedly crashed. In Iraq.

An Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle has just crashed in the vicinity of Baghdad Airport.

According to the FARS News Agency, an Israeli Hermes drone crashed near Baghdad airport on Aug. 27.

It is still not clear whether the UAV was shot down or crashed (for unknown reasons) but, if confirmed, the loss would be the second in less than three days, after another drone, yet to be identified, was allegedly shot down on its way to Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, in the Central parts of Iran.

Even if the FNA has published the image on a Hermes 900 UAV (a High Altitude Long Endurance UAV – with capabilities superior to those of the Hermes 450 – that has had its baptmism of fire during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza) the model involved in the incident is still unknown.

Image credit: Elbit