Russia has warned that terrorists have acquired advanced technologies on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and can conduct drone strikes all over the world.
The head of the UAV department of the Russian General Staff said on Thursday that the threat of terrorists using drones for attacks was not an unlikely scenario, citing strikes on two Russian bases in Syria earlier this month.
Major General Aleksander Novikov said a technical assessment of the drones used in the assaults showed the “emergence of a real threat of the UAV use for terrorist purposes anywhere in the world, which requires the adoption of appropriate measures for its neutralization.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 13 drones targeted the Hmeimim airbase in Latakia Province and the naval facility in the port city of Tartus on January 6.
It said Russian forces repelled the assaults by shooting down seven of the drones and gaining electronic control over six others and safely landing them. The drone attacks caused no damage.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Novikov pointed out that the coordinates used for the drone attacks were much more precise than those available on the internet.
“The production of such deadly machines requires superior professional knowledge, practical skills and experience in operating drones,” he said.
The Russian general further stressed that until recently, terrorists used “primitive” drones only for reconnaissance activities, but they began to employ foreign-made quadcopters for different purposes in Syria in mid-2016.
“The research showed that the avionics equipment mounted on the drones [used in the Syria attacks] facilitated their fully automated preprogrammed flight and bombing, ruling out any jamming,” Novikov said.
The explosives carried by the drones could have been manufactured in a number of countries, including Ukraine, he added.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Russian Defense Ministry said it had detected an American spy aircraft circling in the skies over the Russian facilities in Syria during the January 6 drone strikes.
The ministry also said data for the drone attacks could have only been obtained “from one of the countries that possesses knowhow in satellite navigation,” without naming any particular country.
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