In July 2022, the collaborative efforts of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense, the State Special Communications Service and the Ministry of Digital Transformation, alongside the UNITED24 platform, led to the inception of the Drone Army project. Fast forward to March 2023, less than a year later, the Ukrainian Armed Forces welcomed the initial three variants of strike unmanned aerial systems. A recent article by ArmyInform delves into insights from the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s report on the project’s strides.
Presently, the project boasts 67 operational strike squadrons. Their cumulative achievements since June 2023, when comprehensive data collection on damaged and neutralized targets commenced, amount to 15,140 hits. These encompass strikes on russian weaponry, military assets, personnel and fortified positions. Noteworthy is the Ministry of Digital Transformation’s revelation that drone operators have, on occasion, executed as many as 80 hits in a single night. Under the aegis of the Drone Army initiative, close to 20,000 UAV operators have undergone training, facilitated by 33 partner institutions, championing a “money follows the military” approach. Notably, the imperative for expanding operator training persists owing to the burgeoning deployment of strike and auxiliary drones within the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation underscores its commitment to catalyzing Ukraine’s drone market growth through the enactment of revolutionary resolutions. Approximately 20 legislative and regulatory measures were streamlined to ease drone operations, abolishing redundant controls, while augmenting profit margins from 1% to 25%. Concurrently, fresh training and testing grounds were established, legislative hurdles impeding ammunition and component manufacturers were dismantled, and so forth. A stark contrast emerges when comparing the drone landscape from 2022, where only seven UAV models were eligible for state contracts, to the current tally of 67. Production has surged diversity, engaging nearly two hundred companies. Pertaining to drone ammunition manufacturing, reports indicate involvement from over 50 state and private entities, producing models spanning 300 grams to 10 kilograms.
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