mnztr wrote:Dr.Snufflebug wrote:Remember how those tiny, tiny Norwegian drones that were given to Ukraine were lauded as some kind of gamechanger? Remember the U.S-produced "Switchblade" drones? Nobody even talks about them anymore, much like everything else...
Well, thing is, they usually (not always though) work as advertised but they only do so in very specific, ideal conditions, and they cost an effing shit ton of money at that. The entire western MIC is absolutely not geared up to handle an actual war against a peer opponent like Russia or China. Not economically, not logistically, not industrially. The western MIC is designed to provide hideously overpriced defense "solutions" to its members (chiefly NATO) that could potentially work in some minor show of force kind of conflict against a tiny, underdeveloped opponent, but first of all it is designed to feed the aforementioned MIC. Hence the heavy lobbying and what not. It's called corruption in any other country. An inflated variant.
IF, and I say "if" (because none has really impressed anyone so far) any western weapon introduced to the conflict actually would bother the Russians, they soon figure out how to counteract it and within the same timeframe also produce an analogy to strike back with. This for a mere fraction of the price.
Yes but these are early days in this revolution. Look at the Turkish drone. 2 years ago it was revolutionary, now a piece of trash. Its not possible to predict how this is gonna evolve, and when that is the case, there is a huge risk there will be times when you are on the back foot.
TB-2 has never impressed anyone in the know, IMO. Sure, as a cheaper Reaper/Predator I guess, but like them only effective vs people without AA means anyway, but yeah.
Much ado was made in certain circles over the fact that TB-2s destroyed a bunch of Pantsirs in Syria and Libya. But the vehicles struck weren't used properly, most weren't even staffed, some were just in transit (inactive) and at least one was parked in a shed (naturally not active either).
When TB-2s were put into the Nagorno-Karabach conflict, the situation was the same. Seemingly effective, but only by virtue of operating in an environment without proper AA.
In Ukraine, the TB-2 instantly underperformed badly. Badly! But as expected. Expected!
Ukraine ran out of all of theirs in a week or so, with little to show for it. Then they kept getting new deliveries, which likewise made zero impact. They were just shot down en masse. Literally in droves, each new delivery (based on S/Ns and export Nos) was found as a smoking wreck mere days, or hours after being put in action.
Their only tangible success was to help dislodge the small Russian contigent from ostrov Zmeiny, in which they just exhausted the Tor battery by being sent in suicide waves, until the defenders' missiles ran out. Not a particularly cost-effective operation even considering the relative cheapness of the TB-2 vs other UCAVs.
After that, little to nothing's been heard or seen of them apart from occasional shot down ones (quickly dwindling as the vulnerabilities relegated them to conduct spotty surveillance from afar, not what they were designed for), and wrecks washing up on Romanian beaches after the aforementioned "operation".
The hype surrounding it was entirely misplaced from the very beginning, it had no relevant record to speak of. A record yes, but irrelevant to what was inevitably going to transpire in Ukraine.
The other drones mentioned were hyped in a different fashion, but ultimately met the same fate. Difference being their hype was based on shiny pamphlets at arms expos only, not a throroughly misinterpreted prior combat record.