Ukraine Targets Russia’s Strategic Radar with Explosive Drones

Estimated read time 2 min read

Ukraine has launched a series of drone attacks targeting Russia’s only long-range over-the-horizon (OTH) radar, the Container, located in the Russian town of Kovylkino. The radar, situated 370 miles from the front line in Ukraine, is a crucial asset for monitoring European airspace and providing early warning of potential threats, according to Forbes.

Background on the Container Radar

The Container OTH radar, costing $110 million, is Russia’s sole westward-facing OTH radar, capable of detecting aircraft, missiles, and drones from a distance of 1,900 miles. By bouncing signals off the ionosphere, the radar can overcome the Earth’s curvature, making it a valuable tool for early warning and long-range surveillance.

Ukraine’s Long-Range Drones

To counter the Container radar, Ukraine has developed a range of long-range drones, including the modified Aeroprakt A-22 sport plane. These drones, capable of carrying hundreds of pounds of explosives and traveling up to 600 miles, have been used to strike various Russian targets, such as air bases, headquarters, oil depots, and strategic industries.

The Drone Attacks on the Container Radar

Ukrainian forces have launched multiple drone attacks on the Container radar, with the most recent attempt occurring on April 17, 2024. Video footage captured by Russian civilians shows an A-22 drone flying towards the radar installation, followed by smoke billowing from the blast site. The extent of the damage caused by the attack is yet to be determined.

The Significance of Targeting the Container Radar

Ukraine’s persistent efforts to suppress or destroy the Container radar are part of a broader strategy to enhance the safety of Ukrainian airspace for their warplanes, including the incoming ex-European F-16s. By blinding Russian air defenses, Ukraine aims to facilitate future drone raids and protect its aircraft from detection.

The drone attacks on Russia’s Container OTH radar demonstrate Ukraine’s determination to neutralize Russia’s strategic assets and gain an advantage in the ongoing conflict. As Ukraine continues to develop and deploy long-range drones, such as the A-22, the likelihood of further attacks on high-value targets remains high. The success of these missions could significantly impact the balance of power in the region and the future course of the war.

Featured image shows the Container radar in Russia. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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