This week we got some exciting footage if the first recorded war related drone fight. Unlike what you and your friends do with too much money and alcohol, this drone fight was between Russian and Ukrainian quadcopters vying for uncontested airspace.
A good victory, both quick and decisive. However this has brought a few questions my way regarding the status of this as a 'Technical'
For those of you wondering what a Technical is, it's any piece of civilian conveyance repurposed for military offensive use. This means using a Silverado to haul around boxes of bullets doesn't count, but welding a pintle mount in the bed and strapping a DShK in certainly does. In the last 50 years or so, we've seen more and more civilian vehicles used for these purposes for a number of reasons. First, pickups are easier to get than a BMP. Even in places like Afghanistan where many car sales aren't allowed, the war machine rolls on and technicals are considered an important part of a military. Secondly, much easier to teach someone how to drive a pickup than any other piece of military equipment.
But now we come to the question of aerial technicals, and I'd have to say these qualify. Off the shelf quad copters have been getting outfitted with droppable munitions since the prices have come down. Notable we saw members of the Islamic State use them against targets. A mortar and a GoPro camera and you've got yourself a recruitment video.
This video also begins a new consideration for drone operators. Even when just using as a forward observer, these drones might be more vulnerable than originally thought. Even if both are knocked out of the sky, you're still denying the enemy valuable intel at the cost of a quad copter ($500 or so per depending on the model). Goring forward, will we see these drones outfitted with other anti drone technology? Or will the hope just be that you have more drones than they have counter drones?
As always, doctrine is fluid and negotiable. Rest assured I will remain terminally online to get these answers for you