Terrorists have acquired advanced drone technologies and are now capable of launching attacks all over the world, the Russian Defense Ministry has warned, following an assault on Russian bases in Syria.
The ministry said Saturday's raid on the Hmeimim air base and Russia's naval facility in the port of Tartus involved 13 armed drones. It said air defense systems downed seven and the remaining six were forced to land by Russian electronic warfare units.
The Defense Ministry posted photographs of one of the drones on its Facebook page, showing what looked like a homemade model aircraft that did not seem particularly sophisticated.
The fixed-wing drone was crudely assembled and looked more like an oversize toy aircraft. The craft was attached to the kind of engines used to power lawn mowers and strapped with at least nine small rockets that could have been dropped from the drone or used to turn the craft into a bomb.
The Russians' analysis reveals they were armed with explosives and launched from a site more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) distant from their targets, navigating the trek via GPS and altitude-control sensors.
The head of the UAV department of Russia, Major General Aleksandr Novikov, warned that the threat of terrorists using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not an unlikely scenario after attempted attacks on Russian military installations. As terrorists gain access to to more sophisticated drone technology drone attacks are becoming a real threat.