Russia Is Training 3500 UAV Pilots To Prepare For A ‘Drone Dogfight’ Against

As modern warfare has evolved in recent times, nations are at a fast pace turning to uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones; Russia has recently put all its efforts into drone warfare by including “drone dogfighting” tactics in its training programs.  

Russia aims to train around 3,500 first-person-view (FPV) UAV pilots, focusing mainly on “copter-type” drones. The Vasily Margelov battalion’s UAV unit commander, with callsign Gordes, emphasized drone dogfighting tactics. The training program includes exercises specifically designed to simulate drone-to-drone aerial battles. 

Drone dogfights have emerged as a notable phenomenon in modern battlefields, especially in conflicts like that in Ukraine. A video of a Ukrainian drone engaging and attacking a Russian counterpart appeared in November 2022. This indicates that drones are becoming more and more critical in warfare tactics. 

UAV operator training varies in length and effectiveness depending on several factors, including motivation and prior training. Vasily Margelov, the battalion commander, remarked on the variability in readiness among drone operators, emphasizing the importance of aptitude and adaptability in combat situations. 

The rivalry between Russia and Ukraine extends to the use of drone technology, as evidenced by the escalating deployment of drones in the conflict. The training of more than 3,500 drone operators has been heavily funded by Russia’s Ministry of Defense, demonstrating a strategic priority for drone combat capabilities. 

In response to changing battlefield demands, Ukraine is also improving its drone capabilities and training initiatives. Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced plans to implement commercial drone education programs at vocational schools as part of a more significant trend toward incorporating drone training into academic curricula. 

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