It’s not about the Top Gun character. It is the pseudonym by which a member of the Ukrainian special operations forces calls himself to hide his identity.
It is near Kherson, just 3 kilometers away from the Russian troops. And, with his eyes glued to a monitor, he operates a drone. His and his team’s task is to identify potential targets and transmit their coordinates. They then watch and direct the fire.
For weeks, Ukraine’s military had been talking about launching a counteroffensive in the south of the country. Now, a high-ranking official has told the BBC that his goal is to recapture the city of Kherson within weeks.
But, instead of making a large-scale attack, a different strategy is expected where the use of small drones comes into play.
“This is a war of artillery, high-tech weapons and minds. The soldier still plays an important role, but success depends mainly on rockets, artillery and air strikes,” says Major General Dmytro Marchenko, who organized with successfully defending the southern city of Mykolaiv from the Russian attack last spring.
Bridges over the Dnieper River have been repeatedly attacked. There are also the recent explosions at the airbase and ammunition depot in Crimea. It appears to be part of the same plan, although Ukraine has not officially acknowledged its involvement in these attacks.
But identifying such targets and guiding artillery strikes is dangerous work. Maverick and his team monitor closely and in conjunction with artillery. Now they are looking at a Russian vehicle that they believe may be jamming Ukrainian communication signals.
After many turns, they can barely get close. And the Russian troops respond. Thousands of missiles rain down around us. They also activate an electronic signal jamming warfare system: the drones become uncontrollable.
Maverick and his teammate are desperately trying to get them back.
The soldiers survive the attack unharmed, but have lost one of their drones.
This Turkish-made weapon had already proved its effectiveness in helping Azerbaijan defeat Armenian armored forces and snatch back extensive territory in the Nagorno-Karabakh war of 2020, reports BBC.