Moscow has unleashed its ‘Belladonna’ drone killer system in Armenia to counter Azerbaijan’s use of Turkish-made Bayraktar armed drones
The electronic warfare system is known as “Belladonna”, a poisonous plant that gets its name from Renaissance women who used its extract for tinctures to dilate the pupils of their eyes, ostensibly to make them more attractive.
While Belladonna translates to “beautiful woman” in English, in Russian it has a second meaning: it is the name of a Russian electronic jamming system now credited with knocking out at least nine Turkish Bayraktar armed drones used by Azerbaijan to target Armenia.
If true – and no one has denied it – the system is now operating around the sensitive Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area.
In Russian, Belladonna is known as “Krasukha.” The Krasukha jamming system was rushed to Armenia to counter the successful use of both armed drones such as the Bayraktar and suicide drones like the Israel-made loitering munition known as Harop.
The Turks have heavily advertised the success of Bayraktar in three theaters – Syria, Libya and now in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey and Azerbaijan have released numerous “kill videos” of the drone blowing up tanks, armored vehicles and trucks – and killing many soldiers in the process.
Bayraktar is a fairly conventional armed drone that is navigated to the target area using GPS. The drone’s Wescam MX-15D multispectral camera system is made in Canada while its BRP-Rotax engine that generates about 100 horse-power is produced in Austria.
Canada has halted the sale of the Wescam camera system to Turkey because of its use on Bayraktar drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. But Canada has been silent about Rotax engine exports, although the Austrian company is owned by Canada’s Bombardier Recreational Products.
No doubt there are other Bayraktar parts that are made in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.