Ukrainian drone dreams of growing up to be US drone
It is the American dream.
By Magnus Falcon
KYIV — After achieving aerial success in the war against Russia, one combatant flying on behalf of Ukraine, the Bayraktar drone, revealed that its life goal is to grow up to be a U.S. drone.
“I just want to do my part and this is a team effort,” the drone said. “We’re all working together, but if I’m honest, all I really want is to become like a Reaper.”
The Turkish-built Bayraktar TB2 unmanned air vehicle or “drone” has achieved a degree of notoriety as of late destroying Russian military equipment in support of Ukrainian territorial defense. Its success against a qualitative and qualitatively superior enemy may be seen in numerous videos and still images showing Russian losses due to Ukraine’s intermittent command of the air. But TB2 still feels like he has a lot to learn from his teenage cousin, the Reaper.
The U.S. military’s MQ-9 “Reaper” provides significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, a multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons.
“All I have are a few laser-guided bombs,” the Turkish drone glumly admitted. “I know I’m a junior varsity player. But I could be more, I promise.”
While the TB2 has provided impressive assistance to the Ukrainian cause, deep down it says it knows it lacks the Reaper’s bomb-carrying capability.
“Maybe if General Atomics would give me larger wings, I could carry bigger bombs. Then I’d be a real UAV. I could fly around and provide close air support of troops in contact and maybe even provide intelligence collection in support of strike coordination.”
The TB2 drone first gained regional recognition as a player in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, the TB2’s role went largely unnoticed in the U.S. due to the inability of the majority of American poll respondents to correctly identify that Azerbaijan was a country and not a planet in the Marvel cinematic universe.
Not everyone supports TB2’s long-term goals, however. Philip Barbay from the Grand Lakes University humanities department suggested that the TB2 should abandon its ambitions.
“There are good drones and bad drones,” said Barbay. “Right now, the TB2 is a hero of the Ukrainian resistance. It is a good drone operating on behalf of a noble and righteous cause. But once it transitions to becoming a U.S. drone, it will instantly become a Hobbesian mechanical monster, a piece of the leviathan capable of only evil executed on behalf of unaccountable government-sanctioned violence.”
Undeterred, the TB2 drone re-affirmed to Duffel Blog its intention to pursue Reaper status.