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Russian Commanders to Be Trained in Drone Warfare

Russia will begin providing specialized drone warfare training to its military officers next year, Izvestia revealed, citing sources.

The outlet added that the commanders will be trained at Ministry of Defense (MoD) universities to handle various unmanned offensive and surveillance platforms.

This year, the MoD will also begin an experimental five-year course for future “unmanned commanders” at the Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne School (RVVDKU). Upon completion of the course, cadets will be commissioned as officers.

Current Training Programs

The outlet noted that cadets could be sent to “higher military educational institutions,” such as one of the three “infantry” schools, upon completing the five-year course.

Presently, cadets pursuing a future role in any of the Russian military’s drone units are being trained at the Zhukovsky – Gagarin Air Force Academy.

The RVVDKU also runs a 34-month course for future drone commanders. After completing the course, cadets receive one of two qualifications: “Operator of unmanned aerial vehicles” or “Operation and repair of airframe and propulsion systems of aircraft.”

Need for ‘Specialized’ Training

The outlet argued that institutions in the country teaching drone operations are not sufficient for future military needs as new drone units are being added: “in all divisions and brigades of the Ground Forces, Airborne Forces, and the Marine Corps.”

Izvestia added that the Russian navy and aerospace forces are also expected to include drone units in the near future. Additionally, squadrons of “heavy reconnaissance and strike unmanned vehicles” could be created.

Military expert Viktor Murakhovsky highlighted the need for specialized training in drone warfare, saying that only a handful of Russian military officers have received the training, and most of the “unit commanders are appointed from among other retrained specialists.”

“The appearance of new equipment in the troops also requires the appearance of a variety of specialists for its operation,” Murakhovsky explained.

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