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29 October 2020


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"caught the heat signature of each approaching soldier"

How do you distinguish the soldier as an individual from a deer or buffalo or whatever? In regards to the "jihadis and the occasional wedding party", how do you tell them appart? If you're in close (enough) combat, how to tell friend from foe?

The Twisted Genius


A soldier walks upright and carries a weapon. A deer walks on four thin legs and eats grass. A buffalo is just one big son of a bitch. All that was easily discernible 40 years ago. The images are even clearer today. Clearly you’ve never seen IR imagery. Either that or you have a serious cognitive perception problem. Don’t go volunteering for one of those Montreal cognitive tests, my friend. The lion, rhino and camel will leave you “buffaloed.”

Keith Harbaugh

EW might be effective as a counter-measure, but there is another possibility: drones killing drones, i.e. unmanned air-to-air combat.
That surely eill come; any idea on its status?


Glint detection systems would work, too. Since these are all line of sight sensors.

The Twisted Genius

Keith Harbaugh,

The concept has definitely been explored. In 2018 a Reaper drone armed with AA missiles successfully shot down a drone. Unmanned fighters are moving along in development. I imagine quite a few medium and heavy drones can carry AA missiles, but then it becomes a matter of priorities. Do you use your drones to hunt other drones or hit the ground targets?

Ishmael Zechariah

In case you are interested in some demos:
"stealth" on the field has a whole new meaning these days.
Ishmael Zechariah

The Twisted Genius


How does that work with drones? I searched and only found references to human pupil glint detection.


Austria has allegedly stopped Rotax from supplying any more 912 and 915 fuel injected engines to Turkey. I always wondered why my engine is controlled through a pair of connectors the way it is, I guessed that this was to provide an easy plug and play interface for drones. I’ve also been told that the new 915 (turbocharged, injected) engine was developed with U.S. defence department money.

Keith Harbaugh

On the drone-versus-drone thing,
I can see the day when infantry units carry along their own CAP of defensive drones, along with their offensive ones.
Then too, there is a wide variety of SAMs which can be employed against drones

Keith Harbaugh

BTW, another issue is whether the resolution from satellites is good enough to pick up drones, but that is probably classified.
At least such things used to be.

The Twisted Genius


I'd bet Turkey is already working on their own drone engines. It's not that difficult an engineering problem. Turkey replaced the targeting camera system last year with their own design after Canada cut off the supply. Turkey has a robust arms industry.

The Twisted Genius


I remember having designated aircraft spotters during platoon movements and in convoys. We also practiced shooting target "bats" out of the sky with only infantry platoon weapons. I can definitely see drone defense becoming an integral part of combat arms training. I can see dedicated drone detection and defense vehicles at the company and battalion level. Maybe even at the platoon level. We often trained with a M-113 mounted Vulcan gun and a Redeye team attached to our light infantry company.


I remember with the "Hammer's Slammers" science fiction series that the tanks that the Slammers use would have an automated anti-aircraft automatic weapon mounted on top of them. I wonder if that might be the way of the future, some sort of gun based SHORAD on valuable armored vehicles? If done right it could double as an APS that could target things like incoming ICM shells before they release their bomblets.


The Turks used those Bayratkar T2B (aka TB2) attack drones in Libya also for their GNA allies. But the LNA claimed that they shot down 17 of them. Wonder if the Krasukha jammer you mention was shipped there?

The T2B/TB2 and its predecessors were designed by a young Turkish whiz kid and MIT graduate. He is now the CTO of the company that makes them, which is owned or co-owned by Erdogan's son-in-law.

Stopping shipment of components by the west won't bring production to a halt. They have already had time to reverse engineer the Austrian made engines, the UK weapon racks, and Canadian EO.

A bigger problem than the TB2 will be the new Batraktar Akinci, that can carry 1350 kg and has a ceiling of 40K feet. Its first flight test was last December. The other Turkish aerospace companies are not neglecting the UAV business either. TUSAS is working on a supersonic drone supposedly capable of deceiving threat air defense systems. Vestel is also working on drones but so far they haven't come close to anything that Baykar and TUSAS is doing.


In the late ‘90s I became peripherally involved in RF links & sensor technology for US military UAV / UAS applications. The concepts of operation were way ahead of the physical hw & sw. Innovation in those concepts were the use of space-based systems & the serious consideration of small unit (volume production) / spl forces (mission-specific) applications & product development. Folk might be surprised that unmanned drones launched (can’t help a pun) at the beginning of flight Itself - a confluence of automated flight control, real-time remote controls & airborne training targets. Field development, testing & even use of drone technology for combat took place in WWII (how Joe Kennedy Jr. was KIA over the English Channel) & in VN.
TTG makes two critical points;
- Drones (& ground-based robotics) have taken Spectrum Wars to a whole new level.
- Urban Operations already complicated, are even further complicated. Unfortunately, expect even more fratricide (proportionally) than in the past, and non-combatant losses (aka collateral damage or women, children & aged). Such is the march of technology in warfare.


There are lots of verified and mostly unverified claims by LNA as well as by Armenian forces of how many drones they actually shot down or made to land. Do not forget that Iran managed to interact with and land a US drone a few years back. So this is a technical area that is fast changing. There is no reason to arrogantly assume that "non-western" upstart actors such as Turkey and Iran can be stopped by arms Embargoes.

Turkey will be able to replace the engine and the optics pod that seem to have now been banned by Canada and its Austrian Subsidiary, in the medium term, the embargo will be an incentive. I also found out that some of these items are easily obtainable through alternate means, being dual use technology.

Finally, the US arms embargo, post the 1974 Cyprus operation by Turkey was the prime driver in the development of the Turkish arms industry. So sanctioning and banning can only go so far.


In its last two years(2017-2018), ISIS deployed DIY attack drones on all fronts, these would drop standardized shrapnel munitions that would cause severe wounds in a wide radius. More than any actual personnel/materiel loss, these would take a terrible psychological toll on whoever IS was fighting. There are a couple hundred POV video clips from that period of these drones being used, most of these attacks are against bunched up groups of Iraqi/SAA/SDF personnel but there are notable exceptions that stick out in my mind: a direct hit against a moving Iraqi humvee filled with munition, which caused it to immediately explode. An attack against a massive SAA munitions dump in the deir ezzor stadium. Boats ferrying the SDF across the euphrates being targeted midriver. I don't think we have seen the last of this. Also, you may laugh now, but I believe that jetpacks, maybe more so than drones, have the potential to revolutionize asymmetrical warfare.



" Either that or you have a serious cognitive perception problem. Don’t go volunteering for one of those Montreal cognitive tests, my friend. "

Thanks for the very unnecessary personal attack. Why on earth would a submariner ever see IR signatures? Asking a basic a question was really just too much?

Peter in Toronto

It's really quite tragic to see the Armenians have looked on for 12 years of conflict in Syria, seen Turkey's acquisition of Israeli drones and then fielding their own remote controlled armed drones extensively in Syria, and done absolutely NOTHING in the way of countermeasures, new weapon systems purchases etc.

Their command is criminally liable for sending thousands of young to some unofficial region to be killed under uncontested airspace by what are literally a step above remote controlled hobby aircraft, but with FLIR cameras and laser glide munitions.

It's been nearly a month now and it seems the Armenian side is either blind, in denial or delusional, but someone higher up must have noticed they are losing hundreds of tanks and thousands of young men to these things by now.

If I were Armenian, I would be pondering the sacking or assassinations of the military and political leaders responsible right about now.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, I was having a little fun at your expense. Sorry I offended you so much. I'm surprised you've never seen IR imagery. It's all over the internet and TV news. It's been in movies since at least "Predator" in 1987. I hope Ishmael's examples of the pig hunt enlightened you.

Eric Newhill

Peter in Toronto,
I think you're getting a little carried away.

The Armenians rely on the Russians quite a bit. The Russians maintain, minimally, an air wing and a combat brigade in Armenia - and have for many years. The Russian military advises and assists the Armenian military. I'm sure the Russians were not too happy about this latest little war flaring up, but, otoh, it is a good opportunity to try out some new capabilities, like the belladonna anti-drone system; which appears to work rather well.

The drones will be effectively countered in short order, IMO. The Armenians have drones too that have utilized to good effect on the Azeri/Turks


"I was having a little fun at your expense."

Your inner Trump is coming out.

If memory serves the IDF was able to identify tanks two or three miles away back in '73, however they shot up a bunch of their own because they couldn't tell friend form foe. Regarding Ismael's pig hunt (beside being illegal to hunt after sunset just about everywhere) I am reminded of the hunter in Maine who shot his neighbor's wife in her back yard claiming her white gloves looked like a deer's tail. "Trigger discipline" as the guy in Black Hawk Down put it.

I agree with you that infantry tactics have to change. Peter in Toronto is also right in asking just what we've done about countermeasures in the past decade. The Obama administration sure made it safe for LGBTQetc but dropped the ball on a lot of stuff. The now scrapped LCS program being a prime example.


Another coming threat is the rapid development of drone swarm tactics. Here is a recent account of a project in China:



Oh, and wars always come home, for good or for ill:


My first response is that it's a good strategy to not send police into unduly ambiguous situations where they or others may be adversely effected. Reconaissance is your friend.

Peter in Toronto

@Eric Newhill

I've seen no evidence of the Russians deploying any of this equipment in the disputed warzone, perhaps in Armenia proper, but that does nothing for the Armenians getting pounded in the trenches in NK. We would have seen quite a bit of wreckage by now as these things would be downed over Armenian lines.

What we have even seen are quite a few videos of these remote controlled aircraft dismantling Armenia's dated air defense network, including their Soviet-era S-300 tactical systems which seem to struggle with small, slow-moving targets like these drones.

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