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Ukrainian government allocating $128 million for procurement of attack drones

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 18, 2024 1:40 PM 2 min read
An operator carries a reusable airstrike drone called Punisher made by the Ukrainian company UA Dynamics during a test in Kyiv Oblast on Aug. 11, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian government is allocating an additional Hr 5 billion (around $128 million) to purchase attack drones for the military, Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko announced on March 18.

Drones have been a key tool in Ukraine's defense against Russia's war. President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that surpassing Russia in drone operations is one of the top priorities in 2024.

Zelensky also signed a decree on Feb. 6 creating a separate branch of Ukraine's Armed Forces dedicated to drones. It will reportedly focus on creating special drone-specific units, increasing production, ramping up training, and pushing innovations.

The additional money for the procurement of drones will be drawn from the state budget’s reserve fund, Svyrydenko said, as cited by the Economy Ministry on Facebook.

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…

“In total, agreements with drone manufacturers worth about HR 30 billion ($769 million) have already been concluded, and contracts with a total value of Hr 14 billion ($359 million) are being prepared. And, of course, this is not the limit,” she added.

According to Svyrydenko, the Ukrainian government will continue both planned and operational financing for the procurement of drones.

Ukraine has the capacity to produce 150,000 drones every month and may be able to produce two million drones by the end of the year, Strategic Industries Deputy Minister Hanna Hvozdiar said on air on March 5.

More than 200 Ukrainian companies are involved in developing drones, of which almost 60 have received orders from the government, according to Hvozdiar.

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Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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