In a statement, the Russian MoD said the “first time that terrorists massively used unmanned combat aerial vehicles of an aircraft type that were launched from a distance of more than 50 kilometres, and operated using GPS satellite navigation coordinates.”
And Head of the UAV department of the Russian General Staff, Major General Aleksandr Novikov said the threat of terrorists using unmanned aerial vehicles is not a far fetched scenario.
He said a technical assessment of the drones used in the Jan 6 attack showed “emergence of a real threat of the UAV use for terrorist purposes anywhere in the world”
For these tactics to be effective, precise coordinates and flight configurations are needed.
Mr Novikov believes the drones used in the Syria attack were much more precise that those available on the internet.
Although individual components used in the drones could be purchased on the open market, assembling such a drone requires “a large amount of time and specific expertise,” Novikov says.
He also noted the drones carried industrially made bombs which would not have been able t be made locally.
Russian military sites in Syria have been targeted by two major attacks in the past two weeks, one on New Year’s Eve and another on January 6.
Two Russian service members were killed in the first strike, and and warplanes damaged at the Khmeimim Airbase.
The second attack was thwarted after the drones were detected by anti-aircraft defence systems, and seven of them shot down.
The shock warning comes after Russia revealed it was to unleash a new undetectable stealth bomb designed to glide across enemy airspace.
The new aerial bombs – known as Drel – can be dropped by a bomber jet without entering enemy airspace as the bomb itself can glide for dozens of kilometres.
A single cluster of sub-munitions from the bomb would be capable of taking out 10 armoured tanks, according to Russian mouthpiece Sputnik.
The bombs are also virtually invisible to radar with heat-seeking elements and it is immune to radio-electronic countermeasures.
The Drel is also a stealth bomb, which means that it will not be detected by infrared-homing antimissiles.