Samuel Bendett Profile picture
Military robotics, drones/UAVs, Artificial Intelligence and Russian military weapons development. CNA, CNAS and CSIS. Opinions my own.
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Jun 15 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE - Russians are worried that Ukrainian military is targeting their fixed-wing ISR drones: "This is an extremely alarming development. While people do not directly die from such actions, the consequences may be more serious than from the delivery of dozens of Abrams (tanks)."Image 2/ "Many units/actions depend on such ISR drones (Zala, Supercam, Orlan). Destroying our "eyes" in the sky will set us back a generation, forcing us to fight in 2D while the enemy continues to wage war in 3D. FPV drones are cheap, but big ISR UAVs are not."
Jun 13 11 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on a Russian deliberation about the UAV/drone evolution influenced by the war in Ukraine - main points below: "The (Ukraine war) became a triumph for small UAVs. Previously, everyone was afraid of Bayraktars, but now everyone hides when FPV drones appear."…Image 2/ "Modern air defense systems have made low-speed, medium-altitude UAVs practically useless. Evolution has turned the Bayraktar drones from a superweapon into an expensive reconnaissance aircraft. (Smaller) fixed-wing, “Baba Yagas” and FPV drones currently rule the battlefield."
Jun 2 21 tweets 5 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE from Russia's Project Archangel volunteer effort on the impact of Ukrainian drones on Russian advances and tactics - quick translation as follows: "How are things now? Frankly, they suck. From October'23 to today, the Ukrainian forces have been slowing down and stopping our offensives in one area or another with..."…Image
2/ "...the help of special (separate) UAV detachments - representatives of the Ukrainian forces. There were initially 10 such detachments operating near Avdiivka. In addition to maneuvering combined arms reserves, the Ukrainian command also maneuvers these detachments."
May 30 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on the Russian comments about an FPV striking a Ukrainian USV - quick translation below from the "Russian Engineer" Telegram channel: "...considering that the USV does not see the incoming drone and it does not have onboard EW..."…
2/ " is possible to use FPV drones with the simplest standard frequencies. You just need to have two sets, a night one with thermal cameras and a day one with regular cameras. And then we have the final scheme for countering USVs..."
May 12 20 tweets 5 min read
1/ One of the more relevant relationships to watch in the coming months will be between the incoming Defense Minister Belousov, the re-appointed Prime Minister Mishustin, Deputy Prime Minister Chernyshenko and the Minister of Digital Development Shadaev. All four are...

2/ ...part of Russia's efforts to develop domestic high-tech ecosystem in the larger sense - Mishustin as a government bureaucrat with ICT background, Belousov as high-tech researcher at the Soviet and later Russian Academy of Sciences and a minister who promoted UAV/drone...
May 9 12 tweets 5 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on Putin's statements made today, on Mya 9, in a meeting with Russian military officers who are commanding units in Ukraine. Normally, I would do a quick thread about the annual Russian military parade in Moscow - but this year, there as nothing interesting there. Image 2/ Rather, this thread is about statements made AT a meeting with Putin. Colonel Malakhov, commander of the 24th Separate Guards Special Forces Brigade, said that Russian forces have been actively using FPV drones on the battlefield for more than a year. Image
May 3 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ THREAD - Over the past several months, I was working on a public report on the latest Russian #AI developments - it is now published with @CNASdc. Do check it out! Below are main points and takeaways.… 2/ The report is meant as a summary of the latest developments through March 2024, and should serve as a reference document for anyone interested in major Russian thoughts and deliberations on #AI in the military domain. The data is based on public sources and major Russian...
May 3 5 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on Russia's Courier light combat and logistics UGV. This is a self-initiated project headed by Boris Rozhin (Colonel Cassad on Telegram), and a basic Courier UGV platform costs around 1 million rubles, or $11K.…
2/ According to Rozhin: "With mass-scale production, further cost reduction is possible. Anything can be installed on it - from stretchers for the wounded and gratings/trays for transporting goods to EW systems, mines, machine guns, grenade launchers, ATGMs and AGS. The UGV is designed for a modular principle of use."Image
Apr 27 19 tweets 5 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on a Russian volunteer's analysis of where Russian "People's VPK (Defense-Industrial Complex)" is lagging behind Ukraine's civil society efforts to help the military. The translation is from a pro-Russian TG channel - usual caveats apply. Main points below.
2/ "We are not losing when it come to the quality of (our tech) solutions. Our inventors... are generally better than the enemy's. Not much better - the enemy’s are also quite good... but our side...has more engineering and creative talent."
Apr 23 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE - Russia’s Dmitry Rogozin is commenting on the new Ukrainian “Baba Yaga” heavy drone development. Usual caveats apply, since it’s a former Russian government official. Quick translation in the posts below.
Image 2/ “Over the past 24 hours, the enemy has deployed “silent” Baba Yaga attack drones. This is no longer a conversion of an agricultural drone into a combat one, but a separate type of heavy multirotor UAV with electric motors and a powerful battery to increase its range.”
Apr 23 10 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on the Russian perceptions of a Ukrainian advantage in FPV drones: “An analysis of battlefield shows that the enemy is many times superior to the Russian military in the FPV use. At the same time, the Ukrainians have an increased FPV range - up to 30 km - due to the installment of repeaters on hexacopters (“Baba Yaga”) and fixed-wing UAVs.” 2/ “In the Kherson region, the enemy drones prevent an effective assault on the village of Krynki, where active operations resumed the day before. Electronic warfare systems supplied to the Russian military are not always able to cope with frequencies.”
Apr 10 12 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE - Russia’s Dmitry Rogozin (former head of Roskosmos and self-styled mil-tech volunteer) sounds impressed and concerned with Ukrainian drones: “They fly in entire squadrons consisting of pairs of heavy Baba Yaga attack UAVs - each drone carries up to 6 munitions and is extremely dangerous.”Image 2/ “An FPV is flying next to "Baba Yaga", but it is not a kamikaze drone, but a reusable one. This type of drone is capable of diving onto a target and dropping ammo on it - like an unmanned Junkers bomber.” Image
Mar 31 11 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE: Appreciate the thread by @WarintheFuture yesterday that highlighted key points in current and future combat UGV development that we can discern form this video. Would like to add the following points as well. Firsts, what we are witnessing is a rapid... 2/ ...proliferation of smaller, lighter combat and logistics UGVs across the front at this point in the war, with many coming from DIY-type projects by soldiers themselves and different volunteer organizations supporting the war effort. These are less simple designs that can be quickly put together.
Mar 14 11 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on a Russian futurist's call for thinking about technologies that come after the "drone/UAV era runs its course." The futurist made this comment to the Russian state media. Is he too early to dismiss technology that is crucial in combat now? On the one hand... Image 2/...mass-scale UAV, USV/UUV and UGV has just started, and many of these technologies have not been properly tested and applied in combat yet - especially UGVs and UUVs. Ukraine, Russia and other nations have only recently started diverse utilization of these theologies, and...
Feb 15 5 tweets 1 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on the Russian deliberations about an "ideal" combat drone: "The US heavy drones were built by aircraft designers who perceived the UAV as an airplane without a pilot inside. The result is a large, expensive and complex aerial vehicle. In contrast..." Image 2/ "...many Chinese commercial drones were designed by IT specialists - therefore, a Chinese drone is “a smartphone from which the camera was detached and sent to fly, and all the controls are in the same smartphone.” This approach was better than the American one, but also not ideal."
Feb 13 4 tweets 1 min read
1/4 Russia's Starshe Eddy telegram channel on the importance of drones: "Just a year and a half ago, I would not have thought that FPV drones could solve such problems as isolating the battlefield - and not just at the tactical level, but at the operational level." Image 2/4 "The supply of ammunition, troop rotation, removal of the wounded from the front line has long become an extremely dangerous quest - previously this only concerned the front line, and therefore there were problems with advancing to great depths."
Feb 10 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on the importance of a tank in modern conflict from Viktor Murakhovsky, one of Russia's key military experts who is also the chief editor of the "Arsenal Otechestva" military magazine. His main points are translated below. Image 2/ "A modern tank is beginning to lose its role on the battlefield and must undergo significant modifications to maintain its main functions. The tank must hit the enemy on the battlefield with direct fire, while maintaining its combat effectiveness under the counterbattery of the enemy’s main weapons."
Feb 6 15 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK THREAD on the Russian thoughts about Ukraine's FPV advantage in combat, translated from the TG post. Main points below: "...its definitive that due to NATO’s inability to supply the required number of artillery shells..."… 2/ " the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the moment, they (Ukrainian military) decided to overwhelm the front with kamikaze drones. The solution is of course temporary, but very effective. Why? A kamikaze drone costs tens of times less than a shell or a similar projectile."
Jan 31 25 tweets 5 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on a review for a book titled "Algorithms of Fire and Steel" about modern technologies' impact on the battlefield. The review was written by General Yuri Baluevsky, former Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.… 2/ The book goes over main weapons, systems, technologies and tactics that Russia used in Ukraine. There are no real surprises here, and nothing that wasn't already said before by Russian commentators and military experts. Baluevsky goes over the following key points:
Jan 29 7 tweets 2 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE from Ukraine's Serhyi Flash on the constant EW race where Russia seems to have an advantage - translation of his TG post: 1) All FPVs initially flew at frequencies of 850-930 MHz 2) All trench electronic warfare was developed for those frequencies...…Image 2/ "...up and down on the ELRS protocol so that the “standard” adversary electronic warfare does not work. 4) The Russians are starting to spread this knowledge across all FPV pilot groups 5) We remain silent about this possibility, and do not nor share it en masse with..."
Jan 23 11 tweets 3 min read
1/ QUICK TAKE on the Russian thoughts abut the role of FPV drones and what is needed (by either side) for a breakthrough) at the front: "The number of drones on the frontline is growing exponentially. Up to a dozen “birds”(FPVs) can now strike one vehicle, and 2-3 drones can chase after a single soldier."Image 2/ "The "kamikaze" surveillance in the air has already led to a reduction in troops on the front line. Where a platoon used to sit, they now make do with a squad. Both sides strive to minimize movements on the front line. The front now rests on the shoulders of the..."