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President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a meeting on drone production and electronic warfare systems on April 1, 2024. (Zelensky / Telegram)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky held a three-hour meeting on April 1 to discuss drone production and electronic warfare systems with senior members of the military and government.

Drones have been a vital tool in Ukraine's defense against Russia, and Zelensky said in January that surpassing Russia in drone operations is one of the top priorities for 2024.

Electronic warfare (EW) is crucial in defending against enemy drones, and involves jamming or overloading the drone's receiver with false frequencies, meaning they cannot reach their target.

Zelensky said the meeting's agenda included discussing the production plans for 2024 for "all types of drones," including bomber drones, scout drones, and "long-range drones for special missions."

The participants also "discussed how to ensure the flexibility of our defense industry," as "the needs of the front are constantly changing," Zelensky said.

The meeting resulted in decisions "regarding the simplification of the procurement procedure, the import of equipment, the increase in the production of shells for drones, and the training of operators."

Ukraine is also "building a complex control system for EW means to protect our soldiers and equipment from Russian drones," and is already being tested at the front. The military plans "to scale the project to the entire front," Zelensky said.

Participants of the meeting included Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov, and Security Service Chief Vasyl Maliuk.

Zelensky signed a decree in February creating a separate branch of Ukraine's Armed Forces dedicated to drones. In March, Fedorov announced that seven Ukrainian vocational schools plan to start drone operation programs.

The same month, Syrskyi said the development and use of drones was his priority, describing the technology as being "the key" to Ukraine's advantage over Russia.

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