Russian forces shoot down Ukrainian hot air balloon bomber over Kursk region

Ukrainian terrorist hot air balloon shot down over Russia

The Russian military shot down a Ukrainian hot air balloon over the Kursk region of Russia. They wanted to use the aerostat to carry out a terrorist attack on targets inside Russia, the Defence Ministry said.

The department noted that on April 16 at about 8:15 a.m., air defence systems shot down a small hot air balloon over the territory of the Kursk region. No other details of the incident were provided.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine used similar aircraft during the special military operation. At the end of March, soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces shot down a "terrorist balloon”, which was disguised as a probe.

The improvised hot air balloon bombers are equipped with a GPS tracker, flight control equipment, ballast, an explosive device and batteries. Coordinates for dropping the explosives are entered into the navigation controller of the balloon. Externally, the aerostat is disguised as a weather balloon to avoid damage.

The accuracy of such drones is not high for hitting targets on the contact line, so they are used to drop bombs on populated areas.

In February 2023, former Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said that Russia was using balloons with radar corner reflectors to deplete Kyiv's air defence system.

Specially equipped balloons can be used to combat drones, Sergei Bendin, acting head of the Moscow branch of the Aeronautics Commission of the Russian Geographical Society said.

Manned and unmanned airships may carry means of electronic warfare that could protect the military from drones. In addition, balloons and airships can be used for reconnaissance and communications relay.

It is worthy of note that the US Army also considers upgrading its fleet of hot air balloons that can be used for reconnaissance and communication purposes to possibly counter Russia and China.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov