Ukrainian 'kamikaze' drone destroys Russian tank
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Russia’s deputy prime minister Yury Borisov made bold claims on Russian TV that a laser prototype named Zadira was being deployed in Ukraine, and had already taken down a Ukrainian drone within five seconds at a distance of three miles. The claim sparked fears that Russia may have developed a new deadly weapon that may transform the war. But a military expert told Express.co.uk that the weapon is not what Russia claims.
A previous Russian laser system called Peresvet – named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk – has also been touted by Russian media.
This weapon is claimed to be capable of dazzling satellites orbiting high above Earth to prevent them gathering information.
Mr Borisov said: “If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they burn up”.
Asked if such weapons were being used in Ukraine, Borisov said: “Yes. The first prototypes are already being used there.”
But military analyst Frank Ledwidge was not convinced.
“It’s a load of flannel,” he told Express.co.uk.
“At best, this is experimental – but it probably doesn’t really work properly.
“They might be able to fry a couple of drones, but if this was a mature system that was ready to deploy, it would have been deployed.
“Early on, we would have seen it taking down Ukrainian drones.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the claims, comparing them to the “wonder weapons” Nazi Germany claimed to develop during World War Two in a last-ditch bid to hold back defeat.
He said in a video address: “The clearer it became that they had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about an amazing weapon that would be so powerful as to ensure a turning point.”
“And so we see that in the third month of a full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its ‘wonder weapon’… this all clearly shows the complete failure of the mission.”
Mr Ledwidge similarly made the comparison to Nazi “wonder weapon” claims.
Russia maintains its “special military operation” is going to plan.
Blinding satellites would provide a considerable tactical advantage, as these are used to monitor intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear weapons.
However, Dr Uzi Rubin from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security downplayed the impact of laster technology on the battlefield itself.
He told the BBC: “Zelensky is right – it’s no wonder weapon.
“It took them several seconds to shoot the UAV down.
“There are much better ways to do it, to use a Stinger or any anti-aircraft missile would have been cheaper, faster and longer range.”
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