The World’s 1st Dedicated Drone Force Just Went Live In Ukraine To Counter Russia

Ukraine has officially launched its Unmanned Systems Forces (USF), marking the creation of the world’s first dedicated branch of armed forces focused on drone warfare.

President Zelenskyy heralded the establishment of the USF, emphasizing its immediate impact. “I have just signed a decree initiating the establishment of a separate branch of our Defense Forces – the Unmanned Systems Forces. This is not a matter of the future but something that should yield a concrete result shortly. This year should be pivotal in many ways,” Zelenskyy stated in an official press release.

Ivan Havryliuk, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defense, remarked on the uniqueness of this development: “Ukraine is the only country in the world that has created the Unmanned Systems Forces, and this gives hope for the creation of a coalition of countries.”

Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi, also referred to as “Borsuk” (Badger), has been named USF commander. Celebrated for his bold actions in the early days of the Russian-Ukrainian war, especially for ordering the first fire at Russian terrorists in the Donetsk region, Borsuk has been fighting Russia since 2014.

At first, the Ukrainian Air Force used DJI Mavics and other small commercial drones for grenade drops and reconnaissance. They eventually progressed to first-person view (FPV) drones for more focused assaults on enemy vehicles and soldiers. To make up for its lack of heavy weaponry, artillery, and aircraft, Ukraine has created a range of drones during the previous two years, including aerial, terrestrial, and marine drones.

“We have everything to win the war against the Russian Federation. Everything to replace a person in the trench, at sea, in the air, and underwater,” Havryliuk declared.

“This is the future,” said Ukrainian MP Vadym Ivchenko, highlighting Ukraine’s creative use of marine drones. Prior to Ukraine, no one had deployed maritime drones. Ivchenko continued, “Without having a fully-fledged sea fleet of its own, Ukraine managed to defeat the Russian Black Sea fleet,” according to ABC News.

A platoon commander with expertise in unmanned aerial vehicles, Oleksandr Yarmak, called the USF a world first. “This is an absolutely new structure in which nothing needs to be changed. Instead, we can create new approaches,” he said.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was used in the design of the USF’s insignia, an iron swallow. Resonating with the Ukrainian custom and the New Year’s Eve song “Shchedryk,” it represents a sweet bird turning into a symbol of vengeance.

The USF’s formation, according to Commander Sukharevskyi, shows Ukraine’s transition from conventional military tactics to readiness for future conflict. “By creating the USF, we began to prepare for the war of the future, not for the war of the past,” he explained. He made it clear that in order to preserve their operational integrity, current Ukrainian Armed Forces units outfitted with UAV control would not be merged into the new command.

Additionally, Ukraine gave its armed forces six times as many drones in the first five months of 2024 as it did in the entire year 2023, demonstrating the country’s dedication to leading the way in cutting-edge military technology.

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