Russian suicide drones operating in Ukraine are outfitted with upgraded warheads that have numerous warheads in order to harm the energy infrastructure as much as possible.
The findings of an examination of explosive warheads found in a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that landed in the southern Ukrainian province of Odessa at the end of last year were released on February 10 by the UK-based Organization for Research in Arms of Conflict (CAR). The UAV looks to be a Geran-1 type, which is thought to be a domestically produced Russian variation of the Iranian Shahed-131 series.
According to the analysis’s findings, the warhead carried on the UAV has a length of almost 60 cm, which is much longer than conventional warheads. This warhead may massively demolish or damage soft, unarmored targets thanks to its fragmentation warhead, which has hundreds of tiny metal blocks on either side.
The 18 self-configuring piercing explosives (EFPs) that circle the warhead’s center and create a 360-degree damage zone surrounding the site of the UAV’s drop are actually the most hazardous part of this novel warhead.
The EFP is a weapon that employs the concave explosive principle. It consists of a metal tube filled with explosives, sealed at one end, and fitted with a concave metal disc, typically made of steel or copper, at the other end that faces the target. The explosive block, when triggered, will mould the metal disc into a warhead and fire it at a maximum speed of 5,760 km/h.
The EFP warhead can penetrate steel armor half as thick as the original metal disc and travel great distances, which is enough to kill many pieces of contemporary armor, including main battle tanks.
The potential to rend and destroy targets like power plants, sizable substations, transmission and distribution networks is maximized by the combination of the thin warhead and the EFP. Additionally, they make repairs more challenging than with conventional warheads.
Concave explosive warheads are typically placed forward and concentrate their energy on a single location when dealing with military machinery like tanks and artillery. To create an explosive impact that radiates outward, the warhead on the Russian suicide UAV is positioned perpendicular to the longitudinal fuselage.
Damien Spleeters, one of the participants in the warhead study at the Institute of Warheads, CAR, comments: “The design of the warhead explains why Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure over the past several months have been so successful.”
About 40% of the nation’s power supply had been damaged as a result of Russian incursions, according to Ukraine’s energy company Ukrenergo in October 2022.
“Damage occurs much more quickly than repair. Up until the end of March, Ukrainians are likely to experience power interruptions “CEO of the energy supply company Yasno, Sergey Kovalenko, made the statement.
US officials claim Iran provided Russia with hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to attack military and civilian targets in Ukraine. Iran acknowledges giving Russia the planes, but maintains that they arrived before the Ukraine conflict started.
Western specialists can learn more about the construction of Iranian and Russian unmanned aerial vehicles by examining the Geran-1’s unpublished warhead.
“Many people believed that the Russian suicide UAV’s warhead was a product of a cheap, simple, and unsophisticated manufacturing process. However, the Geran-1’s warhead plainly demonstrates that the designers spent a lot of time designing it to cause the most damage possible to infrastructure on a big scale “He declared.