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Ukraine leads drone race in both number and innovation - The Telegraph

Ukraine leads drone race in both number and innovation - The Telegraph Illustrative photo: Ukraine leads the way in drone production (Getty Images)

The war in Ukraine is characterized by the unprecedented use of drones, with each side deploying hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles daily on the front lines, according to The Telegraph.

Although drones have been used in other wars and conflicts, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has taken their usage to a new level. Drones track enemy forces, direct artillery, and strike targets.

Additionally, relatively inexpensive drones can destroy costly artillery installations or tanks. What began as sporadic use by individual units at the start of the war quickly evolved into a highly organized system, with drones integrated into the structure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The agency notes that nearly every combat brigade in Ukraine now has a company of attack drones, and most units have small reconnaissance drones.

Ukraine is considered a leader in the drone race in terms of both quantity and innovation. This is partly driven by the need to offset Russia's vast artillery superiority. Notably, many kamikaze drones helped partially halt a new Russian offensive on Kharkiv last month.

However, Russia is also investing heavily in armaments, and Ukrainian infantrymen consider kamikaze drones and other drones dropping munitions one of the biggest threats.

The large number of drones on the front lines has led to a "shadow competition in electronic warfare," with each side trying to jam, encrypt, and disable enemy drones while countering similar measures from their opponent.

Last year, Ukraine was estimated to be losing 10,000 drones per month due to Russian countermeasures such as electronic warfare. Russia is also erecting fences and nets around targets to stop drone swarms.

Both sides are experimenting with acoustic sensors to detect drones. Ukraine has reportedly succeeded in using this technology to detect long-range Iranian drones used to strike targets hundreds of kilometers from the front lines.

Establishment of the drone forces

Recently, Ukraine introduced a new branch of the military, the Drone Forces, created under President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's directive.

On June 10, Ukraine appointed Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi as the Armed Forces' Drone Systems commander.