Monday, December 26, 2016

Houston, We Have Several Problems

I've long worried about the survival rate of drones against enemies with better air defenses. But I'm rather surprised that our drones can be easily hacked. That's what Ukraine discovered.

Oh good Lord:

Millions of dollars' worth of U.S.-supplied drones that Kiev had hoped would help in its war against Russian-backed separatists have proven ineffective against jamming and hacking, Ukrainian officials say.

The 72 Raven RQ-11B Analog mini-drones were so disappointing following their arrival this summer that Natan Chazin, an advisor to Ukraine's military with deep knowledge of the country's drone program, said if it were up to him, he would return them.

One, how nice that we sent useless weapons to Ukraine in their hour of need. Less than worthless, actually, because they kept Ukrainian troops from using something that can actually fight the Russian hand puppets in the Donbas.

Not that the Ukrainians don't have a problem with their troops being hacked and Russians hacking Ukraine's electrical grid. (Tips for both to Instapundit)

Given that Russia is attacking Ukraine outside of the Donbas front, just why is Ukraine refraining from attacking Russia's Sevastopol base in Crimea? Is Ukraine just allowed to sit and take it?

But I digress.

And two, why didn't we know that the drones are vulnerable to hacks? We've been using them for some time--and the versions we sent were older analog versions. How did we fail to be aware that they are vulnerable to enemy hacking?

Given that the Russian hand puppets are escalating their actions, this is worrisome. See what is happening in the east these days:

Ceasefire monitors from the OSCE security organisation confirmed "heavy fighting" in the Debaltseve-Svitlodarsk area.

On Sunday, their report said, OSCE monitors heard 680 artillery rounds and 20 tank rounds in a six-hour period. There was also a temporary power cut in Svitlodarsk.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko, quoted by the news website, said the loss of five soldiers was the heaviest toll in five months of sporadic clashes on the front line.

There is more:

An international monitoring group documented almost 3,000 explosions in the region Sunday — up from 700 on Saturday and 100 on Friday. The majority of Sunday’s detonations were recorded around Svitlodarsk. Despite multiple cease-fire attempts and efforts to remove heavy weapons from the front lines, the day-long bombardment, which included tanks, rocket artillery and howitzers, laid bare the shortcomings of international efforts to quell the conflict.

This is a problem, too. Is escalation against Ukraine a Russian effort to suppress a potential clash between the two Russian hand puppets in the Donbas?

The Kremlin has deliberately obscured the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), in eastern Ukraine, under a fog of confusion. As such, on a single day last week, a Russian analyst argued that the two self-styled republics are about to unite into one entity (Novorossiya), while at the same time a Ukrainian analyst saw signs that the two Moscow-sponsored statelets are almost at the point of declaring war on each other even though their Russian curators are reportedly purging the most radical Russian nationalists in each.

This would explain the killings of some separatist leaders considered too independent-minded by Russia, and whose deaths the Russians blamed on Ukrainian actors.