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Zelenskyy instructs Ukrainian Armed Forces to set up separate service branch of drone forces

In Europe
February 06, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has instructed the Cabinet of Ministers (the Ukrainian government) to set up a new service branch within the Armed Forces of Ukraine – drone forces.

Source: decree On building up the capabilities of the defence forces; President Zelenskyy’s address

Details: Zelenskyy instructed the Cabinet of Ministers, together with the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, to work on shaping the unmanned systems and their operators as a separate service branch within the Ukrainian Armed Forces [on par with the Air Force or the Rocket Forces and Artillery – ed.] and submit proposals to the National Security and Defence Council.

Quote from Zelenskyy: “I have just signed a decree that will initiate the creation of a separate service branch within our Defence Forces: the Unmanned Systems Forces. This is not an issue for the distant future; this is something that will bear concrete results in the nearest future. This year has to be decisive in many ways, including, obviously, on the front. Drones, or unmanned systems, have proven their combat effectiveness on the ground, in the air, and at sea. Ukraine has really altered the Black Sea security situation thanks to its use of drones.

Drones are also significantly involved in repelling assaults on the ground and extensive attacks on the occupation forces and equipment. We now have a clear set of tasks ahead of us: creating positions for those working with drones and special units; effective training; systematic learning from past experience; constant scaling-up of production capacities; and drawing on the best ideas and getting the best experts involved in this.”

Background:

  • Uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) successfully used by Ukraine to attack the Crimean Bridge and Russian vessels were developed by the Security Service of Ukraine, and have been named SeaBaby.

Read more: If the UAV situation doesn’t change, we’ll be at the negotiating table within a year: FPV drones and their role in warfare

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