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Ukraine to establish new Armed Forces branch for unmanned systems

President Zelenskyy’s latest decree aims to enhance Ukraine’s defense capabilities through the creation of a specialized Unmanned Systems branch within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
A Ukrainian naval drone. Photo:
Ukraine to establish new Armed Forces branch for unmanned systems

On 6 February, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the creation of a new branch within the Ukrainian Armed Forces dedicated to Unmanned Systems. This move, detailed in a presidential decree and further highlighted in Zelenskyy’s evening address, underscores the urgency of integrating advanced unmanned technologies into Ukraine’s military strategy.

“I have just signed a decree that initiates the creation of a separate branch of forces within our defense forces – the Unmanned Systems Forces. This is not a matter of the future – it is something that must deliver tangible results in the near term. This year must be decisive in many respects, notably on the battlefield,” Zelenskyy said.

He emphasized the proven effectiveness of drones in land, air, and sea battles, crediting them with significantly altering the security situation in the Black Sea and playing a crucial role in repelling ground assaults and destroying enemy forces and equipment.

Zelenskyy outlined clear objectives for the new branch: establishing special staff positions for drone operations, forming special units, enhancing training, systematizing experience, scaling up production, and attracting top specialists to the field. These tasks are assigned not only to the army but also to the Ministry of Defense and the government at large.

“To provide the necessary coordination within the defense forces, ensure proper planning levels, and maintain quality logistics, the Unmanned Systems Forces will be established within the structure of the Armed Forces. Proposals will be submitted for consideration to the National Security and Defense Council,” Zelenskyy added.

The president’s address also touched on the broader goal of state system reform, underscoring the importance of adapting Ukraine’s strategic capabilities to achieve its just objectives.

“Ukraine can win. Must win. And we must do everything to achieve this! Thank you to everyone who helps! Glory to all who fight and work for our state!” he said.

This initiative represents a pivotal shift towards modern warfare techniques, highlighting the critical role unmanned systems now play in global defense strategies and Ukraine’s commitment to securing its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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