Ukraine’s military in push to develop high-tech ‘Army of Drones’

by | Jul 15, 2022 | World

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appealed for ‘dronations’ to build up the military’s aerial capabilities.On the outskirts of Kyiv, troops are in training to be the tip of the spear in Ukraine’s drive to modernise its tactical response on the front lines of the war with Russia, through a significant expansion of its drone fleet.
Ukraine’s military does not have an official drone unit but the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has made it possible for Kyiv to conduct reconnaissance along the 2,470-kilometre (1,535-mile) front line, spotting Russian forces and equipment and remotely directing artillery fire against targets.
Drones save Ukrainian lives, but they are expensive and in short supply.
“Nowadays, it’s very important to have a drone in each battle unit because this is our eyes in the sky,” said Lieutenant Anton Galyashinskiy, a Ukrainian army expert in visual data analytics.
Galyashinskiy and nine of his fellow soldiers are learning to pilot drones from a moving vehicle. They are being trained by Global Drones Academy, a private company run by Anton Veklenko, who has been operating unmanned flying machines since 2015.
“One of the most important aspects of training is the safety of using civilian drones in a combat zone,” Veklenko told AFP.
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A specialist in drone photography, Veklenko expanded into military training after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, teaching civilians and military how to become remote drone pilots for the war effort, and how not to become targets of Russian fire.
“At the beginning of the war, many of our serviceme …

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