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Minister: Ukraine to catch up with Russia in production of Shahed-type drone in 2024

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 26, 2024 8:15 PM 2 min read
Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin at the "Ukraine. Year 2024" panel in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 25, 2024. (Courtesy: "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum)
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Ukraine's capacity to produce drones similar to the Iranian-designed Shahed "are no longer inferior to Russia's," Strategic Industries Minister Oleksandr Kamyshin said in an interview aired on Feb. 26.

Ukraine has intensified its efforts to ramp up domestic production of attack drones, a critical tool on the battlefield, aiming to manufacture one million drones this year.

Russia has used Shahed-type kamikaze drones, both supplied by Iran and domestically produced, to attack Ukraine since the start of its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The Ukrainian version of the Shahed drone is identical to the original "in terms of the amount of explosives they carry, their range, and other technical parameters," Kamyshin said on national television.

Since autumn 2022, Russia has regularly attacked Ukrainian cities and infrastructure with thousands of Shahed-type drones, initially delivered from Iran but now produced domestically in new factories.

Ukraine's capabilities for 2024 are six times higher than they were last year, and the country's defense industry also produced three times more in 2023 than it did in 2022, Kamyshin said at a forum in Kyiv on Feb. 25.

Ukraine pins hopes on home-made drones to counter Russia
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Feb. 7 that the Ukrainian military would create a separate branch of the Armed Forces dedicated to drones. Throughout the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has been a drone tactics pioneer, from applying purpose-built military UAVs to weaponizing civilian models…

Over 90% of the drones currently being used on the front line in Ukraine are Ukrainian-made, according to Digital Transformations Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

Ukraine is also working on establishing the mass production of attack drones similar to Russian Lancet drones with a range of 40 kilometers, Fedorov said on Feb. 7.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree earlier in February creating a separate branch of Ukraine's Armed Forces dedicated to drones.

The Unmanned Systems Forces will focus on improving Ukraine's work with drones, creating special drone-specific units, ramping up training, systemizing their use, increasing production, and pushing innovation.

How Russia’s homegrown Lancet drone became so feared in Ukraine
In the bubble of pro-Ukraine communities on the Internet, the constant inflow of battlefield videos showing the destruction of Russian equipment regularly lifts the moods of hundreds of thousands of supporters of Ukraine’s struggle around the world. Wander over to the Russian side of the internet,…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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