Video captures dogfight between two Mavic quadcopter drones in Ukraine

Serhiy Pritula / Twitter

A clash between two drones, used for observation by Ukrainian and Russian armed forces, has been captured on video.  

The footage was filmed by a Ukrainian drone and shows it approaching a DJI Mavic, a small commercially available quadcopter, presumably used by Russian forces. An impact occurs and the Mavic can be seen cartwheeling, with its parts flying away, having likely been struck by the attacking drone’s propeller. 

It is likely that the footage is both the first example of air-to-air drone combat and the first instance of a small commercial drone engaging another one of its kind during the war in Ukraine 

The video was originally published by a Twitter account belonging to Ukrainian journalist and influencer Serhiy Pritula, who earlier organized a successful crowdfunding campaign to acquire Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones for Ukrainian armed forces.  

The text in the Twitter post said that the attacking drone was another Mavic. The model, which is widely available for purchase, is popular with both Ukrainian and Russian armed forces as well as various volunteer and paramilitary formations participating in the war.  

Such drones are usually used for observation, spotting, correcting artillery fire and other similar tasks on the frontline. Similar types of unmanned aerial vehicles also are sometimes fitted with explosives that can either be dropped from above or detonated in the vicinity of the target, turning these relatively cheap devices into makeshift bombers and projectiles.  

UPDATE 10-18-2022, 18:15 (UTC +3): On October 18, 2022, another video of Ukrainian drone operators ramming a Russian quadcopter was posted online.

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