Episode 138: Cheap Commercial Drones and the War in Ukraine
High-end, long-range combat drones like the MQ-1 Predator can fly for thousands of miles and strike adversaries from far away. They are also extremely expensive—one MQ1 costs $20 million—and manufacturing takes time.
Such drones are in short supply in Russia, creating a gap in Russian military capabilities. But Russia has adapted. This episode examines Russian use of cheap commercial and foreign-made drones in Ukraine—how this impacts dynamics on the ground and what this may reveal about the broader Russian war effort.