Since the beginning of the Army of Drones government project last year, Ukraine managed to reach "parity" in terms of production of unmanned systems, states Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation and Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine. In the interview for the Diia YouTube channel, he outlined some of the ongoing developments and progress achieved so far.
Fedorov noted that while the project was initiated in the first quarter of 2023, the financing essentially started in summer, meaning the parity in the rates of drone making was achieved in only half a year: "russia must understand that we will scale up, we have only just begun this technological war," he stressed. According to him, in 2023 Ukrainian forces got over 100,000, the volumes of supplies in December alone were more than in the entire year 2022.
Read more: Ukraine Initiates Large-Scale Production of Lancet Analog: Uncovering the Challenges Faced
Speaking of aerial kamikaze drones, he said currently, ten manufacturers are offering their products to the government, and the scale of production depends solely on the budget they get allocated:
"There is no ceiling. Thousands of those kamikaze drones can be produced, and thousands have been made. You can see something burning out there every day on the russian territory. It can be scaled up," Mykhailo Fedorov says and reminds that "oil depots don't explode on their own." Some of the kamikaze drones are already public — Bober, Morok, AQ-400 Scythe — the video also reveals the name of the suicide UAV based upon the UJ-22 Airborne, it is called Baklan (Сormorant).
The minister also touches on the widely discussed topic of the Ukrainian analog of the russian Lancet tactical loitering munition. He confirmed that up to seven companies are working on a "similar product," and some of those have the potential to enter mass production. However, the requirements for this type of UAV and, consequently, specifications would differ from the russian. In particular, in terms of operational range:
"Today, a lot of russian equipment is destroyed within the 20 km [range], and they constantly pull it further, so we need to work with ranges around 40 km, during the day, not just nighttime. We should put emphasis on these things, and we do."
Fedorov also recalled the successful attack by Magura V5 sea drones on the Ivanovets missile corvette. Without any details, he stated that the Magura V5 has features that make it immune to spoofing and other means of EW interference. The official said upgrades are underway to help these drones more effectively chase down enemy ships and operate under powerful EW jamming. There is already a new boat, an upgraded version of Magura described as a "platform that is preparing for new applications."
For a reminder, the manufacturer of Magura V5 also does not position its product as just a kamikaze drone but a multi-purpose platform that can be equipped with a variety of sensors and payloads based on the needs of the mission: tailored for reconnaissance and surveillance, fleet security, search-and-rescue, or mine warfare operations.