June 12, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Ukraine is at war with Russia using Chinese drones

Iran supplies Russia, China – Ukraine, supplying tens of thousands of drones to destroy enemy front-line positions.

Iran sold thousands of drones for shelling Ukrainian cities to the Russian Federation, writes The Moscow Times. Another six thousand drones are to be produced in the Alabuga special economic zone under an Iranian license. Ukraine, on the other hand, purchases drones in much larger quantities from Russia’s other partner, China.

Kyiv received tens of thousands of drones and established a flow of spare parts for them from China, says The Wall Street Journal. We mainly purchase finished products, mainly SZ DJI Technology, from stores and suppliers. Components from China are also widely used in self-produced drones, which are growing at a rapid pace.

According to Defense Advisor to the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Georgy Tskhakai, in a year and a half, the number of drone manufacturers in the country has increased from seven to three hundred. Hundreds of thousands of simple and cheap devices capable of carrying explosives are produced both homemade and industrially.

Every month, the Armed Forces of Ukraine use approximately 10,000 drones on the battlefield. DJI told The Wall Street Journal that it tries to limit the military use of its products, but cannot control their use after purchase.

The US ban on the use of DJI drones for the military and Chinese components in the production of their own drones has become one of the main reasons for the high cost of American drones. The United States has tried to arrange their supplies to Ukraine, but many American commercial drones cost tens of thousands of dollars more than Chinese models. Ukraine would like to test and use more American drones, however, as Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Georgy Dubinsky noted, “we are still looking for more cost-effective solutions.”

The fact that every software update for drones requires Pentagon approval also played a role. But the situation on the battlefield is changing so rapidly that programmers and engineers have to constantly make adjustments to their models. Dubinsky explains:

“What flies today cannot fly tomorrow. We need to quickly adapt to emerging technologies. The innovation cycle in this war is very short.”

In the United States, several hundred startups are developing small drones, some of them backed by the Pentagon. But devices intended for commercial use have proven difficult to convert for military purposes. As a result, the US does not have a significant presence in the first ever drone war.

As ex-military officers and startup executives, as well as drone operators on the front lines told WSJ, American drones are expensive, glitchy, poorly resistant to electronic warfare, and cannot always complete the mission and perform the task in accordance with the stated parameters. The CEO of the Silicon Valley startup Skydio, Edam Bry, who sent hundreds of the best drones to Ukraine at the beginning of the war, admits:

“The general reputation of each class of American drones in Ukraine is that they do not perform as well as other systems. The devices were not very successful on the front line.”

He says that Skydio employees have traveled to Ukraine seventeen times since the war began, and the new drones are built based on the opinions and needs of the Ukrainian military and security services, rather than the requirements of the Pentagon.

Large companies such as Palantir and Microsoft, several American billionaires, as well as startups and entrepreneurs in North America, Europe and Australia are helping Ukraine develop drones and software for them. writes The Washington Post.

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