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​Million Drones a Year Sounds Plausible Now: Ukraine has Produced 200,000 in the Past Two Months

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FPV drones of the Ukrainian forces, winter 2024 / Illustrative photo credit: 116th Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
FPV drones of the Ukrainian forces, winter 2024 / Illustrative photo credit: 116th Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

FPV drone production rate was 50,000 in December, now doubled

When the Ukrainian government in December announced the plan to produce one million FPV drones in 2024, the society generally met the ambition with some skepticism, even though, in fact, it required not some quantum leap but only a +67% increase in production.

As practice has shown, the goal of 1 million is quite achievable for Ukrainian manufacturers, because in two months of 2024, as many as 200,000 FPV drones have already been manufactured, according to Hanna Hvozdiar, Deputy Minister of Strategic Industries, in an interview to Forbes Ukraine. As long as Ukraine keeps cranking up the industry like that, the plan can be well overachieved with 1.2 million UAVs made by the year's end, she noted.

Read more: Minister of Strategic Industries of Ukraine Outlined Prospets of Ukrainian Defense Industry in 2024
FPV drones of the Ukrainian forces, winter 2024
FPV drones of the Ukrainian forces, winter 2024 / Illustrative photo credit: 116th Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Also, the figure of 200,000 ready drones appears even more impressive if you compare it with the figures for December, which were previously announced by the Head of the same ministry, Oleksandr Kamyshin, during the briefing titled "Results of the Ministry of Strategic Industries and Ukroboronprom for 2023" held at the end of December.

Minister Kamyshin announced that over 50,000 drones were produced in the last month of 2023, of which 45,000 were manufactured at one enterprise. Although, as he noted, more than 200 companies are making UAVs in Ukraine.

FPV drone production at TAF Drones
Illustrative photo: FPV drone production at Ukrainian company TAF Drones / Still image credit: TAF Drones

That is, over the past two months, production volumes have multiplied. Moreover, as earlier stressed by Ukraine's digital transformation minister Mykhailo Fedorov, how many drones the local manufacturers can produce depends solely on the level of funding they get. Also, it is important to highlight that there's a direct correlation between how much a drone costs and how far and effectively it can hit targets.

In particular, the integration into an FPV drone of a more EW-resistant communication, a thermal imager, and elements of so-called "machine vision" with auto tracking will significantly increase the final product's price but will also make it more reliable and effective in combat. Therefore, in the pursuit of quantitative indicators, it is necessary to maintain a balance with their effectiveness on the battlefield.

Read more: Ukrainian Kamikaze Drones with Machine Vision Destroy russian Pantsir-S1 (Video)