An Ally Called Drone
How Ukrainian civilians are using homemade quadricopters to fight the enemy
The amount of artillery shells that NATO has promised to deliver to Ukraine this year is the same as that used by the Russian army in a month and a half of warfare. If we also consider the relative ease with which Putin can swell the ranks of his army after the bloodiest battles, it’s clear that the two countries cannot adopt the same war strategy. Since the Russian invasion, Ukraine has been facing a numerically superior enemy that also has a multitude of ammunition depots.
The idea that has spread in military circles and civilian associations which actively help the Ukrainian resistance is to fill the substantial lack of resources by increasing the use of drones on the battlefield. Drones can in fact significantly reduce the risks for soldiers during reconnaissance missions and can make artillery more efficient. If necessary, they can also be used as remote-controlled bombs to destroy armored vehicles.
Day after day, in apartments, offices and basements, dozens of small secret factories have sprung up, where planes and multicopters are built in a more or less artisanal way to be used in the defense of the country.
In many cases, the engineering teams that design and assemble drones are made up of young people who didn’t work in this field before the war. Thanks to their talent and commitment, spy and combat drones are delivered to the military at a fraction of the cost of those purchased from well-known military production companies overseas. The growing demand for drones has generated the need to train thousands of new operators. Once again, the solution to this problem has been provided by members of civil society, and the Victory Drones association organizes practical and theoretical lessons to teach soldiers how to fly drones on the battlefield.