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The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ plan to intimidate Russia with balloons failed: what’s wrong with kyiv’s attempt to attack with weather balloons?

Date: July 23, 2024 Time: 01:53:53

Weather balloons began to be used for military purposes.



Ukraine increasingly attacks Russian skies with balloons. Last Tuesday, April 16, Russian air defense systems destroyed such a balloon over the Kursk region. Two days later, two balloons were shot down over the Belgorod region and three more over the Voronezh region. And on Saturday, Ukrainian balloons almost reached the capital: “At around 7:00 p.m., an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack with two small-sized balloons (MSB) against objects on the territory of the Russian Federation. ”, reported the Russian Ministry of Defense. “Ukrainian air defense systems in service were destroyed over the territories of the Tula and Moscow regions.”

How dangerous are these “balloon” air strikes? According to some reports, we are talking about converted weather balloons, those that are launched by the thousands every day around the world. Has Ukraine found a cheap weapon capable of reaching Moscow?

As the director of the Meteo forecast center, Alexander Shuvalov, explained to KP.RU, aerological probes (as experts call them) are the same as children’s balloons. The same latex layer and the same helium inside. Only weather balloons are bigger, a lot.

“Near the ground they can reach between 2.5 and 3 meters,” says the meteorologist. – As it rises, the pressure difference causes the ball to increase in size. At an altitude of 15 to 16 kilometers, and they reach such a height, the ball can reach up to 60 meters in diameter. Equipment hangs from the ball: a temperature sensor, pressure sensors, humidity sensors and a small radio transmitter that transmits signals to the ground. This is a very small box, usually weighing 1.5-2kg. In total, it costs a few cents. And, most importantly, said probe is not controlled; flies along the compass rose in free flight.

It turns out that the Ukrainian Armed Forces sent these “little balloons” to bring good luck? Judging by the words “terrorist attack” in the Russian Defense Ministry’s message, it can be assumed that some kind of explosive device was suspended from the balloons at the probe site. But where were they going? Where anyway? We wait for the wind towards Russia and cast it; look, it will explode somewhere. From a military point of view, this makes no sense: waiting for the ball to suddenly drop on a military installation could take centuries.

Or maybe the Ukrainians are somehow turning these “balloons” into controlled airplanes? Hardly. The equipment that allows the balloon to adjust course and altitude are gas cylinders, a burner, a long-range receiver and transmitter… All of this weighs so much that with the wind huge balloons would move towards us.

And whether there were explosives is a big question. After all, then, at a minimum, it is necessary to hang on the “ball” a complete surveillance, communication and reset system. Last week, fragments of one of the Ukrainian balloons were discovered in the Lipetsk region. There was nothing dangerous about them.


So why are the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacking Russia with weather balloons? According to the former head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Special Forces Command of the Russian Air Force, Sergei Khatylev, the current use of balloons is part of information warfare, an attempt to intimidate people.

“Ukraine’s financing is stagnant,” says military expert. – ATACMS is not provided, Neptunes and redesigned S-200s are running out of stock, many factories are out of service. Well, the need for invention is cunning: let’s launch balloons. And it doesn’t matter what they fly, which way the wind blows. Just tell people: something is flying, an unidentified target… And if there are many such probes, then they will panic!

However, Ukraine can also use reconnaissance probes. According to Sergei Khatylev, in the 50s and 60s of the last century there were no space satellites yet and balloons were launched at 25-30 kilometers. These were multi-sectional products made of dense rubber; Photography, video and other equipment hung from them. Then, SAM-75, MiG-17 and Su-9 aircraft were also intended to destroy such reconnaissance balloons.

But today space is full of satellites from which everything is perfectly visible. The Americans regularly supply kyiv with intelligence data; There is no point in launching balloons at the will of the wind.

“Maybe there is another type of intelligence here,” says Sergei Khatylev. “They cause our air defense system to declare itself ready, turn on the radar, search, detect. And shoot these balls. And the Americans at this moment from space, while we react, determine from the rocket torch where they fly from and record the frequencies. This could be a very economical way to evaluate how our air defense system works.

– But why did they fly to the Moscow region?

– You understand, these targets are very difficult to detect by radar. After all, the ball itself does not reflect the signal; The only effective reflective surface is small suspended equipment. And it is also difficult to take them down because of the difference in speeds. An interceptor fighter has a minimum speed of 250-270 km/h. And the speed of the ball, for example, is 10 meters per second, that is, 36 km/h. The pilot can see the target, but the team cannot lock on to track it. The same happens with anti-aircraft guided missiles, which are guided in radar mode…

– Isn’t it cool to shoot down those balls with rockets?

– Certainly! In this case, you can use cannon systems of the “Pantsir” type. Or machine guns, small arms. Our fighters in the fields of the Northern Military Region use shotguns against drones: they load them with pellets or shoot and shoot down FPV drones. The same thing happens here: you can simply lift a helicopter into the air and shoot the ball with small arms. I think that’s how they get taken down.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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