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Ukrainian soldiers destroy Russian Zoopark-1M 1L260 artillery counter-battery radar system

According to a video published on Social Networks on March 25, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers destroyed a Russian Zoopark-1M 1L260, the latest generation of artillery counter-battery system. The vehicle was located by Ukrainian Special Forces using the Ukrainian-made Shark drone and destroyed by the 44th artillery brigade of the Ukrainian army.
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Ukrainian soldiers of the 44th artillery brigade of the Ukrainian army have destroyed a Russian Zoopark-1M 1L260 artillery counter-battery radar system. (Picture source Social Network)

Drones have become increasingly important in the war in Ukraine as they offer a wide range of advantages over traditional methods of reconnaissance and surveillance. One of the most important applications of drones in combat is their ability to detect artillery systems, which are a critical component of any military force.

The drones are used by Russian and Ukrainian armed forces to detect artillery systems can be accomplished in a number of ways. For example, drones can be equipped with cameras, sensors, and other detection systems that allow them to scan large areas of the battlefield and identify potential threats. These drones can also be equipped with advanced targeting systems that allow them to lock onto artillery systems and direct attacks against them.

Another way in which drones are used to detect artillery systems is through the use of signal intelligence (SIGINT) technology. This involves the use of sensors and other equipment to detect and analyze radio signals emitted by artillery systems. By analyzing these signals, drones can pinpoint the location of enemy artillery systems and relay this information to friendly forces.

In October 2022, Ukrspecsystems, a Ukraine-based company specializing in producing drones, drone components, and gimbals, unveiled their latest creation, the Shark UAV. This small unmanned aerial vehicle is launched via a catapult and lands by parachute. Its primary function is to provide the Ukrainian military with a budget-friendly means of enemy surveillance, thanks to a 30x optical zoom camera installed at the front of the drone.

The SHARK drone also boasts an impressive auto-tracking system that simplifies observation. This system can track complex objects that are differentiated not only by their contrast against the background, thanks to advanced image processing algorithms.

The SHARK drone has the capability to use two gyro-stabilized cameras, namely the USG-231 and USG-261, both of which offer optical and digital zoom features. These cameras can be installed on the drone as required.

The SHARK drone has a flight time of up to 2 hours. A version with a larger wingspan (up to 3.4 meters) can achieve a flight time of up to 4 hours. The drone's maximum flight altitude is 2000 meters and it can maintain communication with the base station up to a range of 60 km. IT can fly at a speed of up to 90 km/h, with a maximum speed of 150 km/h. It can be deployed for flight missions in approximately 15 minutes.

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Ukrainian Shark drone was used by Ukrainian Special Forces to detect the Russian Zoopark-1M 1L260 artillery counter-battery radar system. (Picture source Wikimedia)

The 1L260 Zoopark-1M is a Russian-made ground-based radar system designed for aerial target detection, tracking, and classification. It operates in the UHF band and has a range of up to 250 km. It is primarily used for air defense and surveillance purposes, and is capable of detecting various types of aircraft, including helicopters, low-altitude targets, and even stealth aircraft.

The 1L260 Zoopark-1M uses advanced digital signal processing algorithms to enhance the accuracy and reliability of its target detection and tracking capabilities. It is considered to be an effective and reliable air defense system by the Russian military and is widely used in various air defense units.

The 1L260 radar system is capable of detecting 155mm artillery shells at distances up to 23 kilometers and 203mm shells at ranges of 27 km. For artillery rockets, it can identify them within a range of 32 to 45 km. A tactical ballistic missile, similar in size to an ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System), can be detected at a range of 65 km. The 1L260 boasts a quick deployment or evacuation time of five minutes and can operate for over eight hours, tracking up to 12 targets simultaneously. In terms of azimuth coverage, it spans a sector between 2.5 and 90°.

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The Zoopark-1M 1L260 is an artillery counter-battery radar system mounted on a tracked armored chassis. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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