NewsRussian soldier dodges drone attacks, shoots down two more

Russian soldier dodges drone attacks, shoots down two more

A Russian soldier who survived an FPV drone attack and shot down two more.
A Russian soldier who survived an FPV drone attack and shot down two more.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | FUNKER530
Przemysław Juraszek

15 June 2024 13:09

The war in Ukraine is brimming with scenarios that, until recently, would have seemed like fiction. One such instance involves a Russian soldier who, almost like a cyborg, evaded one "kamikaze" drone and shot down two others heading his way. Here's an explanation of how he might have managed this.

In the recording below, you can see how the Russian soldier avoided being hit by an FPV drone at the last moment. He then checked for injuries and made his way to a tree line where he attempted to hide.

From an observation drone, the Ukrainians spotted him and sent two more FPV drones, which the Russian managed to shoot down, an extremely rare feat. Such an accomplishment using a rifle without a targeting module like SMASH is nearly impossible.

Smoothbore shotguns as a defence against drones - improvisation that works

The most likely explanation is the use of a smoothbore shotgun by a soldier experienced, for example, in shooting clays or hunting ducks. Smoothbore shotguns enable targeting drones at distances of up to 30 - 40 metres and, therefore, have become quite common on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides.

In response, the Russians have launched several anti-drone programmes, one of which involves using modified semi-automatic shotguns from the Saiga-12 or Vepr-12 families equipped with muzzle brakes to reduce felt recoil significantly. In practice, these are AK rifles adapted for 12-gauge (1.8 cm) cartridges filled with "coarse shot," with individual shot sizes over 0.5 cm for "drone hunting" purposes.

With Vepr-12 or Saiga-12 shotguns, which are magazine-fed, it is possible to fire several shots quickly at one or multiple targets. The standard magazines for these shotguns have a capacity of ten rounds, but drum magazines with double the capacity were also available for sale.

This combination allows fairly efficient elimination of drones if the shooter is skilled in targeting moving objects. However, it remains an improvisation based on the notion of "better this than nothing." The shotgun is also unsuitable for engaging targets at longer distances, so the soldier carrying it relies on protection from other squad members or has to carry a second weapon.

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