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Bloomberg: UK, allies plan to supply Ukraine with AI-enabled swarm drones

As Ukraine faces a shortage of artillery, the UK, along with the US and other allies, is working to provide Ukraine with AI-enabled swarm drones to bolster the country’s drone capabilities and create a new dynamic on the battlefield.
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Ukrainian soldier with drones. Credit: National Guard of Ukraine/Twitter
Bloomberg: UK, allies plan to supply Ukraine with AI-enabled swarm drones

The UK, along with the US and other allies, is working to provide Ukraine with thousands of new AI-enabled drones that could simultaneously swarm Russian targets, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. These drones reportedly could be sent to Ukraine within months, although the timeline might change.

The focus on drones comes as Ukraine faces a shortage of artillery, which could become critical in the coming months. The new drone capabilities do not replace the urgent need for shells but may help mitigate some of that shortfall and create a new dynamic on the battlefield.

The technology is being developed by Western military planners who believe it could allow Ukraine to overwhelm certain Russian positions with unmanned vehicles. The AI-enabled drones would be deployed in large fleets, communicating with each other to target enemy positions without each needing to be controlled by a human operator.

The importance of drones on the battlefield has grown as Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine nears its two-year mark. A global race is underway to develop new technologies that could shape the future of warfare. Russia is increasing its domestic production of battle drones and has received significant supplies of numerous weapons from its allies, Iran and North Korea.

On 15 February, the UK Ministry of Defense announced that the United Kingdom, in partnership with Latvia, will spearhead a major drone coalition aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defense capabilities by supplying Ukraine with thousands of drones.

At the Munich Security Conference, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy called for more long-range weapons and artillery from its allies. He stated that keeping Ukraine in an “artificial deficit of artillery and long-range weapons allows Putin to adapt to the current intensity of the war.”

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