Ukraine begins mass production of kamikaze attack drones
Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom has initiated mass production of kamikaze UAVs. The Ukrainian Defense Forces have already begun ordering them for their operations
Obozrevatel writes about it.
Herman Smetanin, the CEO of Ukroboronprom, stated that the new UAV boasts a maximum combat range of 1,000 kilometers.
It's essential to highlight that at the start of 2023, the former leadership of Ukroboronprom announced the testing of kamikaze drones capable of striking targets up to 1,000 kilometers away. Smetanin has confirmed that these drones are operational, with Ukrainian military units placing orders for domestic UAVs.
However, it is important to note, according to the Defense Express, that these drones are not Iran’s Shahed UAVs analogs.
While many media outlets celebrated Ukroboronprom with titles like “the drones similar to the Shahed-136,” the head of the organization, Herman Smetanin, shared a different perspective. This drone is more advanced than the Shahed-136 and is part of Ukroboronprom's shift toward complex and costly projects with enhanced capabilities.
Smetanin stated, "Ukraine has numerous state and private manufacturers. We have drones similar to the Shahed, as well as more powerful models capable of longer flights. Presently, our focus is on more advanced and higher-performance projects."
According to the Defense Express, these drones serve multiple purposes, acting as either kamikaze-style drones or long-endurance reconnaissance drones, depending on the mission. The development approach for these drones is quite different, with kamikaze drones being cheaper and expendable, whereas reconnaissance drones require durability.
This distinction is crucial, as it determines the design, cost, and production scale. Ukroboronprom's strategy does not involve producing an exact replica of the Shahed-136. Instead, they concentrate on crafting more sophisticated, expensive, and effective drones. It's possible that other state and private manufacturers may work on creating a Shahed-136 analog, the article notes.
Smetanin also mentioned that the production of these drones involves collaboration with international partners, although he refrained from disclosing the production location for security reasons.
Additionally, Smetanin confirmed that Ukroboronprom supports private companies in expanding the development of FPV drones. License agreements have been signed with three major firms.
Smetanin clarified, "We have the necessary resources, facilities, and components. Companies provide us with the components, and we undertake the production. We assist in scaling developments for anyone who seeks our support."