Ukraine will produce thousands of UAVs in 2024 to target Russia's rear — Ukraine's Digital Minister
According to Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology Development and Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine will produce thousands of long-range drones in 2024. They will be able to strike at Russia’s deep rear
He made the statement in an interview with Reuters.
Fedorov noted that there are 10 companies in Ukraine that produce UAVs that can reach Moscow and St. Petersburg.
"The category of long-range kamikaze drones is growing, with a range of 300, 500, 700, and 1,000 kilometres. Two years ago, this category did not exist ... at all," he emphasized.
The minister said that as part of the BRAVE1 initiative launched by the government in 2023, about $2.5 million was allocated to startups in the field of military technology. This year, such funding is planned to increase about tenfold.
He noted that in Russia, the state dominates the production of drones, while in Ukraine, most UAV manufacturers are private. According to him, only one of the 10 companies whose drones can reach the regions of Moscow or St. Petersburg is state-owned.
In 2023, the production and supply of Ukrainian UAVs increased more than 120 times. The minister emphasized that this is part of a broader military effort to develop and produce drones to narrow the gap with Russia's strike capabilities.
He also shares the assessment of the Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov that Kyiv has reached "a certain parity" with Moscow in the production of long-range drones.
"We need to act in an anti-bureaucratic way. This is the essence of a breakthrough in the war of technology. We are going to continue to put our bets on this, to work in this direction. Because technology can really save us," Fedorov said, noting the lack of artillery shells that the Ukrainian military has.
On February 11, Mykhailo Fedorov said that the production of long-range kamikaze drones in Ukraine depends only on funding, but Ukraine has caught up with Russia in terms of the number of such drones produced.