Ukraine and Lithuania have agreed on joint steps for manufacturing drones to meet the needs of the Ukrainian military, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a joint press conference with his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis in Kyiv.
The step comes as Ukraine aims to increase its drone production as Russia ramps up its own output in a war where victory is increasingly defined by drone superiority.
“Lithuania has the technologies, Ukraine has the capabilities to scale up production [of drones], and this was a key topic of our talks,” Kuleba said. “There is a clear understanding of what and how we will do it in order to make Ukraine-Lithuania cooperation in drone production deliver maximum results in the shortest possible time,” he added.
Landsbergis said Lithuania can quickly start manufacturing drone parts and components, as well as facilities for their production. He added that the Lithuanian government will support any industrial project that helps Ukraine and Lithuanian security, meaning Lithuania will assist any business in any sector ready to participate.
Importance of drones for Ukraine’s warfare strategy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine plans to manufacture one million drones in 2024, a figure Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov and Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshyn consider realistic.
Kamyshyn also said that in addition to one million FPV drones, the plans include over 10,000 medium-range attack drones with flight ranges of hundreds of kilometers, and over 1,000 drones with ranges of 1,000 km.
In early 2024, Ukraine and Latvia created a drone coalition whose main task is to help Ukraine scale up production of drones and electronic warfare systems for the war effort.
On 25 January, Sweden and the United Kingdom joined the coalition.
The extensive use of drones have made NATO warfare doctrines obsolete and conditioned the failure of Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief has said that drones are one of the components for gaining air dominance in an article outlining Ukraine’s strategy to win the war.
Ukraine is making strides to increase its drone production, as Ukrainian FPV production is estimated as lagging sixfold behind Russia’s.
Ukraine’s digital Transformation Minister Fedorov recently calling on Ukrainians to make their own small combat FPV drones at home.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian long-range drone strikes have become a primary method to strike Russian production facilities amid a Western ban on using long-range missiles on Russian soil.