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Kamyshyn names defense production priorities in Ukraine

Mar 3, 2024

Minister for Strategic Industries Alexander Kamyshin said that Ukraine is positioning itself as a global pioneer in the field of unmanned technologies, and domestic production is critical.


However, it needs financial support from Western partners to produce more drones and win the war, the Minister said in an interview with the Independent, Ukrinform reports.

He said Ukraine's pioneering drone technology and growing domestic weapons industry are a game-changer that could help win the war. He called on Western allies to do everything they can to support Kyiv as its troops try to hold the front line at the start of a third Russian invasion.

Kamyshin warned that in the conditions of a brutal artillery war, Ukraine needs an amount of ammunition that “no country,” not even the United States, can provide. Therefore, Ukraine is developing less financially costly means to hold the front while maximizing domestic production. In 2023, the volume of Ukraine's domestic defense production increased threefold, and this year it is planned to increase it sixfold.

According to Kamyshin, Ukraine is positioning itself as a world pioneer in the field of unmanned technologies. “Domestic production is critical. This year we can produce more than a million FPV drones, as well as thousands of drones capable of flying more than 1000 km and reaching oil refineries in Russia. This changes the course of the game. Our defense technologies are cool, and together with the newly established unmanned systems forces, they will produce results,” he is convinced.

Ukraine has one of the fastest opportunities to develop all new technologies, as it actively tests prototypes in real-time on the battlefield, Kamyshin says. This is information that can be shared with partners, especially when the world, following Ukraine, switches to the use of unmanned systems in conflicts.

This paradigm shift could change the face of war, especially since the Russian invasion has seen the cost of the most common 155mm artillery shell quadruple, from about $2,000 to more than $8,000.

Drones, according to Kamyshin, are much cheaper: one Ukrainian-made FPV drone costs only $1,650. But the problem for Ukraine now is financing domestic development and production.

“The capabilities of our defense industry are several times greater than the amount of funding, so now we are forced to choose. We can produce more, but we don’t have the funds for it,” Kamyshin noted.

According to him, Ukraine’s priority is first ammunition, then drones, then air defense. We try to cover all this through funding. The rest are suffering. But this can be covered by the US and other partners: we ask the UK and the US for funding…. It is in the interests of our partners, such as the US and UK, to fund our industry - and enable us to produce more to win the war,” the Minister added.

Kamyshin acknowledges that no matter how much Ukraine produces domestically, it will always depend on external supplies due to the brutality of the battlefield. But new technologies, such as FPV drones and long-range drones penetrating deep into Russian territory, are helping advance the effort and could ultimately lead to Ukraine achieving air superiority for the first time.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 04/03/2024

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