In the 89 days since Russia began its illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military has lost several dozen Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles, according to open-source-intelligence analysts who scrutinize photos and videos on social media.
The team of researchers at the Oryx blog, who have been compiling photo and video evidence, has reported that the Russian Armed Forces is now visually confirmed to have lost 50 Orlan-10 Orlan-10 unmanned aircraft since February 24.
Orlan-10 is a medium-range, multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Russian firm Special Technology Center in St Petersburg. It is intended for a variety of missions including aerial reconnaissance, observation, monitoring, search and rescue, combat training, jamming, detection of radio signals, and target tracking.
The UK military intelligence said in a release that UAVs are playing a pivotal role in the Russia-Ukraine war. But UAVs have proved vulnerable both to being shot down and to electronic jamming.
“Russia has attempted to implement the concept of ‘Reconnaissance Strike’ it refined in Syria, which uses reconnaissance UAVs to identify targets to be struck by combat jets or artillery,” according to the intelligence update posted on Twitter.
However, Russia is likely to be facing “a shortage” of these UAVs “which is exacerbated by limitations in its domestic manufacturing capacity resulting from sanctions,” the ministry said.
The U.K intelligence said that if Russia continued to lose UAVs at its current rate, “Russian forces intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability will be further degraded,” and this would “negatively” affect their ability to fight.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 21 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/SJzZ5pcVoe
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/bW5sc8zQbE
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 21, 2022