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2 Apr, 2024 16:30

Ukraine claims to have increased drone production tenfold

Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fedorov has boasted that some domestically produced UAVs can reach targets over 1,000km away
Ukraine claims to have increased drone production tenfold

Ukraine has significantly boosted domestic drone production amid President Vladimir Zelensky’s call to build one million units this year, according to the country’s Digital Transformation Minister, Mikhail Fedorov.

Speaking to the German news outlet Welt on Monday, the minister claimed that Kiev has ramped up domestic production of long-range drones, with a flight range of 700 – 1,000 km, by a factor of ten compared to last year.

Fedorov explained that this includes the production of FPV, reconnaissance, transport, combat, kamikaze, marine and ground drones, as well as new UAVs capable of striking targets at a range exceeding 1,000 km.

He also added that Ukraine is developing ground-based robotic systems and its own electronic warfare equipment, as well as working to introduce artificial intelligence into the operation of UAVs, suggesting that the first prototypes could be deployed to the battlefield by the end of the year.

The minister went on to point out that Ukraine is currently in “a state of technological war” and that drones have become a crucial tool on the battlefield, in some cases even replacing artillery.

Fedorov’s comments come as the Ukrainian military has ramped up drone attacks on Russia in recent months, claiming to be primarily targeting oil refineries.

However, Russian officials have repeatedly reported that Kiev’s drones have not just been targeting military or energy facilities, but have also been used to strike residential buildings and other non-military infrastructure, often leading to the death of civilians.

In the latest such attack on Monday, at least nine people were wounded in a drone strike on Russia’s Belgorod Region, according to the local governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov. He reported that the attack damaged a school as well as several homes, and shattered windows in eight high-rise apartment buildings. In another attack last week, a Ukrainian kamikaze drone hit a residential building in Belgorod, killing one person and injuring two others.

Gladkov has reported that since March 11, Ukrainian strikes on the capital of the border region have damaged over 3,000 homes.

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu suggested on Tuesday that Kiev has resorted to terrorism and long-range strikes against Russia’s civilian population in an attempt to “convince its Western sponsors of its ability to resist the Russian Army.” That’s despite the fact that Kiev has not had any actual success on the battlefield, the minister added.