A military and weapons expert has warned that Putin’s newly-deployed Iranian suicide drones are like the weapons Hitler used to batter Britain in the Second World War.
Russia is believed to have been increasing its use of the Shahed-136 drone – unmanned flying bombs thought to be supplied by Iran – on targets across Ukraine.
Dr Matthew Powell, an expert in power and strategic studies at the Royal Air Force College and the University of Portsmouth, gave the chilling explanation exclusively to the Daily Star.
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Discussing the "loitering drones" he shared how they were an update on the technology Nazi Germany used to terrify and slaughter Brits in their homes during the Blitz.
He likened Putin’s new toys to an update on "the V1 or V2 rockets" which brought terror to the UK.
“What we really see is that this is a development from the V1 or V2 rockets used in the Second World War. But with more sophisticated technology, better propulsion,” he said.
The V1 rocket made a famous raspberry sound as it jetted over from the European mainland and into Britain's airspace, earning the infamous nickname "doodlebug".
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Then, as the rocket-powered bombs neared their targets the engines would cut out – leaving only a deafening silence as it fell from the sky until its huge payload detonated.
Bombed-out Brits used to think you were safe if you could hear the engine because Hitler’s civilian killer had gone over your head. You were in big trouble though if you couldn't hear anything.
Matthew reckons Putin’s new Kamikaze drones sound like small light propeller aircraft often used for leisure jaunts into the sky, but added they were more accurate compared to Hitler’s V1 because they are led to targets by ultra-precise GPS systems.
“They're able to loiter for a certain amount of time [as long as three hours] before they are sent on to their targets,” said Dr Powell.
Far cheaper than other airborne alternatives, Putin is making use of them in his war in Ukraine.
Dr Powell said they would be most effective against “attack formations in the field,” meaning they could be used to hit groups of troops or civilians.
“You don't have any controls from the ground with this apart from the GPS signal and the targeting that you have,” he added, “but it can stay in the air for a prolonged period of time causing confusion amongst air defence. You're not sure what he's going to target until potentially the last minute.”
Russia bought the drones long before the war in Ukraine, he said, but their use in Ukraine was the first time they had been deployed in anger by the warmongering nation.
“They hadn't been used until mid-September of this year. So it's a relatively new asset that the Russians [are] utilizing,” he added.
The use of Kamikaze drones has been seen in the past by Houthi rebels in Yemen. They were supplied by Iran and are a chilling reminder of the alliance networks joining many states on unfriendly terms with Europe and the US.
He said Iran was “an ally of Russia and Moscow, allowing them to purchase these weapons from Iranian manufacturers and it's essentially a reflection of the alliance system that's in place”.
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