Prototypes of AI drones may appear on battlefield before year-end - Fedorov

Prototypes of AI drones may appear on battlefield before year-end - Fedorov

The war between Ukraine and Russia is technological, and it actually turned into a war of drones, the number of which today affects the situation on the battlefield.

Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said this in an interview with the German news outlet Welt, Ukrinform reports.

He said that Ukraine was completing the first important step in the application of artificial intelligence in unmanned aerial vehicles. The issue concerns the promotion of companies that develop systems able to capture a target and direct drones at it.

"Now this technology is at the testing stage. Technologically, I do not see any problem here. It can be solved quickly. The next step is drone communication. Drones form swarms to engage enemy vehicles. But to fulfill this task, it is first necessary to solve the previous tasks: radio frequency planning, target instruction, etc.," Fedorov said, expressing hope that the prototypes could appear on the battlefield by the end of the year, but not in large quantities.

In general, drones are already partially replacing artillery. Compared to last year, Ukraine increased the production of long-range drones tenfold. Most drones in use have a range of 700 to 1,000 kilometers, Fedorov said.

"But now there are models that can fly more than 1,000 kilometers," Fedorov said.

He said there were plans to exceed the task of producing a million drones. This applies to different types of drones: FPV, reconnaissance, transport, combat, kamikaze, sea and land, etc. Ground platforms are also being actively purchased now, he said.

In addition, Fedorov said, work on the development of electronic warfare equipment and special antennas, used in drones, is also actively underway.

Read also: Ukrainian official, French delegation discuss development of defense technologies

"We must build our own electronic warfare system and counter the enemy's electronic jamming systems to improve the performance of our drones. This involves clear technical tasks for manufacturers, constant control over deployment on the battlefield and fast logistics. The technology war accelerates development in general and requires a quick response," the minister said.

He also spoke about the Starlink satellite internet system. The Russians started using this system, but it is not a mass phenomenon, and the Ukrainian side "found a solution to the problem."

"Ukraine will continue to use Starlink, and the Russians will be as limited as possible in its use. All the necessary decisions have already been made. We will see the result in the near future," Fedorov said.

He noted that he is in contact with Elon Musk when necessary, the teams cooperate effectively at the operational level, supplies from Starlink are stable, and SpaceX is quick to respond to any issues.

When asked if Musk is on the side of Ukraine, Fedorov said: "I believe so."

According to the minister, it is quite clear that the situation on the battlefield and the outcome of this war depend on the development of technologies.

Photo: Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine

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