Ukraine is building an “Army of Drones” using the donations it has received from foreign allies and charitable organizations, according to a report by BBC News.
Described as a “complex” program, the proposed collection involves purchasing more unmanned systems, providing necessary maintenance, and ensuring the availability of replacements.
The program includes training Ukrainian operators to use military drones for surveillance and combat missions.
“The army of drones will allow us to constantly monitor the 2,470-kilometer-long (1,535-mile-long) front line and to field an effective response to enemy attacks, using modern technology,” Ukrainian military official Col. Oleksii Noskov told the British outlet.
Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said that the campaign’s primary objective is to procure tactical drones capable of operating at a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers).
The drones will be equipped with sophisticated cameras, a global positioning system, and mapping tools.
Fedorov revealed that the “Army of Drones” program has already raised $6.8 million, paving the way for the purchase of two military drones for the defending Ukrainian forces.
Around UAH 200M have been donated for the Army of Drones! We've launched this project only on Friday; and already 2 Warmate unmanned systems are in purchase process for Army. Also dozens of your drones arrived to the warehouse. Don't stop with dronations: https://t.co/R8ETAZ2pIZ pic.twitter.com/Mayc4OcirT
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) July 5, 2022
Last month, Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar delivered three high-performance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the Ukrainian Army as the result of a recent crowdfunding campaign.
American technology firm AeroVironment has also donated over 100 reconnaissance drones to Kyiv to help defend against invading Russian forces.
The Quantix unmanned aircraft systems will provide “accurate and rapid” reconnaissance in dynamic battlefield environments.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas has also announced that the Ukrainian armed forces will receive a crowdfunded Turkish-made military drone from Lithuania.
First batch of your drones has arrived to the frontline. Now they will serve as real soldiers within world’s first Army of Drones. Every such ‘dronation’ saves lives and getting Ukrainian victory closer. Support the light side via @u24_gov_ua. https://t.co/wu9znxbSGN pic.twitter.com/fePQdRfoPn
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) July 7, 2022
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine, the two countries have relied heavily on high-performance drones for reconnaissance and strikes.
However, a Forbes report claims Ukraine seems to be winning the drone battle as it continues to neutralize or push back Russian drones.
The outlet explained that Moscow’s number of Orlan-10 UAVs is decreasing due to Kyiv’s sophisticated counter-drone systems.
Oryx’s database also confirmed that invading Russian forces had lost around 50 Orlan-10 drones three months into the conflict.