More than 40 Ukrainian companies have contracts to develop drones for use in the war against Russia, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Shmyhal appeared at a forum marking the first anniversary of the "Army of Drones" project that brought together Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturers. The prime minister said the production of UAVs has since increased tenfold.
Both surveillance and attack drones have played a critical role for both sides in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, assisting with targeting enemy weapons, tracking the movement of units and taking out armor.
Shmyhal said the Ukrainian government has allocated about $1 billion this year for investing in Ukrainian UAV manufacturers.
“We have eliminated customs barriers for importing spare parts and complete sets. The profit share of UAV manufacturers has been raised to 25%, and a decision has been made that will facilitate the mass production of ammunition for drones," he said.
Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian minister of digital transformation, displayed some 1,700 UAVs at the forum that are being sent to the front lines.
The program has so far trained 10,000 operators at 26 training centers, and another 10,000 are slated to be trained in the future.
However, some Ukrainian military officials have recently noted that Russia’s advantage in electronic warfare has blunted the effectiveness of drone operations, as Moscow is able to jam the UAVs.