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2 Nov, 2021 15:43

Russia reveals size of its growing drone army

The Russian military is expanding its arsenal of unmanned vehicles, allowing operators to watch and engage hostile forces from the safety of command posts miles away from the action, President Vladimir Putin has revealed.

During a meeting with defense chiefs in the south-coast city of Sochi, Putin disclosed that the country has at least 2,000 drones for use in reconnaissance missions and, increasingly, to play combat roles. According to him, scientists and engineers now “need to continue working on them, working as hard as we have been recently, using artificial intelligence and the most up-to-date achievements of modern technology.”

“We know very well how unmanned aircraft has proven itself in armed conflicts in recent years, how effective and also how dangerous it can be for us, bearing in mind what we saw in Syria – terrorist attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles. We have learnt to repel these attacks, and we are doing it quite effectively,” the Russian president went on.

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In July, Russian state-backed developers unveiled a deadly new Orion-E drone, equipped with rockets and bombs, that could destroy both tanks and armored infantry carriers while flying at high altitude.

Several weeks ago, Moscow used the Zapad 2021 military exercises to show off new unmanned combat robots that can destroy tanks without putting Russian ground units in harm’s way.

According to a report last month by specialists at one of the country’s top military academies, Russia would be able to repel any incoming amphibian craft along the country’s vast coastline using a huge fleet of attack drones to conduct an air assault before the targets were able to reach the shore.

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