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Minister: Ukraine tests its own equivalent of Russia's Lancet drones

by Alexander Khrebet February 18, 2024 4:13 PM 2 min read
Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov at the Diia Summit in Kyiv, Dec. 19, 2023. (Mykhailo Fedorov/Twitter)
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Ukraine has conducted initial tests of combat drones resembling the Russian Lancet drones, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov reported on Feb. 18.

The drones will soon be tested in combat, he said.

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

Russia's Lancet kamikaze drones have a range of 40 kilometers. They are produced by ZALA Aero Group, a subsidiary of Russian arms giant Kalashnikov.

Since Russia started using the Lancet in large numbers on the battlefield in late 2022, it has proved to be one of Russia's most effective weapons against high-value targets located dozens of kilometers behind the front line.

Fedorov said that the Ukrainian equivalents of the Lancet drones produced by four contractors underwent testing, with two drones successfully completing the tests.

Within a few months, it will be feasible to establish production capacity for approximately 100 of these drones per month, the minister said.

“This is a technological product, so we couldn't launch it immediately, we had to launch the market… and now we have the result,” Fedorov told the Diia YouTube channel.

“There will be two or three products on the market that compete with each other, and in a year there will be a dozen such companies.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Feb. 6 to create 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, increasing production, and pushing innovation.

Deadly drone arms race intensifies as Ukraine, Russia embrace the future of war
At this stage of a war that could last years more, both Ukraine and Russia are getting serious with their drone game: ramping up production while always looking to come up with new innovations.
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