New Threat: russian Forces Use FPV Drones with Machine Vision and Automatic Target Acquisition

russian military continues to improve their FPV drones and test concepts on the battlefield / Open source photo
russian military continues to improve their FPV drones and test concepts on the battlefield / Open source photo

Although such updates lead to an increase in the cost of the FPV drone, they significantly expand its capabilities and allow for less preparation time for the operator

Ukrainian specialist in communications and electronic warfare, Sergei "Flash" Beskrestnov, discussed another dangerous innovation from russian UAV development engineers on his Telegram channel.

"For the first time, I saw intercepted video from a russian FPV drone with machine vision and auto-target acquisition. Moreover, it was in thermal imaging mode," wrote Beskrestnov.

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According to him, the technology is still "raw" but is already being used on the battlefield.

Note that with such updates, the FPV pilot only needs to fly to the target at a relatively high altitude and mark it, after which the drone can independently strike the target without the operator's intervention.

A russian FPV drone, Defense Express
A russian FPV drone / Photo source: russian media

Primarily, the use of such "modernized" drones neutralizes the effectiveness of electronic warfare (EW) dome systems because FPV operates autonomously towards the target. It also eliminates the need for experienced pilots. Because with such updated FPV drones, pilots with less experience and lower skill levels can control them, as there is no need to perform the most complex maneuvers—approaching the target and striking it.

As Defense Express reported earlier, russia recently announced the training of 3,500 operators for FPV drones. For such a number of pilots, an enormous quantity of drones is required, which, evidently, the enemy will be working on in 2024.

Among the advantages of updated drones with machine vision and auto target acquisition, better efficiency in hitting moving targets is also noted, along with an increase in the potential range of using this weaponry.

It is also worth noting that russia continues to equip its FPV drones with both night cameras (cheaper analogs and more expensive digital ones) and thermal imagers.

Read more: Features of the Winter Military Campaign 2023-2024 for Ukraine Regarding the Use of Drones on Battlefield