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Ukraine conflict: Ukraine establishes world's first unmanned force

Ukraine has established the Unmanned Systems Forces, a new branch of the military. Its logo is an AI-generated swallow-based robot, considered a revered symbol of victory in Ukrainian culture. (Ministry of Defence of Ukraine )

Ukraine officially established the world's first unmanned force on 11 June, a new branch of the military dedicated to harnessing the power of unmanned warfare.

Known as the Unmanned Systems Forces, the command aims to co-ordinate the deployment of air, sea, and ground unmanned and robotic systems.

The announcement comes four months after President Volodymyr Zelensky decreed the creation of a separate branch of Ukraine's armed forces.

The branch will be supported by over a million indigenously developed first person view (FPV) unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), which the government aims to develop in 2024.

Colonel Vadym Sukharevskyi, the former deputy commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has been appointed the first Unmanned Systems Forces commander. Col Sukharevskyi was one of the first commanders in Ukraine to effectively deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combat, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Ukraine detailed.

During the launch ceremony in Kyiv, Deputy Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk noted how the creation of the new branch will allow Ukraine to strike targets as distant as Russia's Ural region – roughly 1,600 km from Ukraine.

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