Ukraine’s drone production could leapfrog Russia’s due to Western support, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat has said.
“There are never too many drones; we need to expand [the number of] these systems. Perhaps, we are even in a better position than Russia because we have access to Western technologies,” The New Voice of Ukraine quoted Ihant as saying.
Four-Fold Hike in Drone Production
Ihnat’s assertion comes as the number of drone manufacturers in Ukraine has risen four-fold to 200 since spring, Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov said.
“We need more drones at the frontline,” the minister said.
“Therefore, we are constantly thinking about what else we need to do in terms of innovation, taxes, increased funding, and attracting partners to produce even more drones for the defense forces.”
Ukraine has endeavored to ramp up drone production in the country with projects like Brave 1 that “promote collaboration between all stakeholders of the defense tech industry.”
Kyiv also plans to triple its procurement budget for Ukrainian-made products to $3 billion next year, Strategic Industries Minister Alexander Kamyshyn said.
Ukraine and Russia both have extensively deployed drones in the war for an array of missions, including surveillance and reconnaissance, munition drops, and artillery targeting.
Initially relying on simpler First Person View drones, Kyiv has started developing more complex platforms such as the electronic warfare resistant platform Backfire and the long-range kamikaze drone Morok that has a range of 800 kilometers (497 miles).
Additionally, Ukraine has already started mass-producing a “Ukraine-equivalent” of the Shahed 136 kamikaze drone, whose deployment is expected shortly.
“There is a [Ukrainian] equivalent of the Shahed 136 and it is being produced, and you can see it being used. We just never announce that it is a Ukrainian manufacturer, a brand, a factory, and so on. This is a security issue,” Kamyshin said.