Ukraine state enterprise starts producing Shakhed-like kamikaze UAVs, FPV drones
Photo: Herman Smetanin / Facebook

The state-owned Ukrainian Defence Industry (UOP) conglomerate has launched a series of analogues of the Iranian-Russian Shahed kamikaze drone and mastered the licensed production of FPV drones, its CEO Herman Smetanin told Economic Pravda in an interview.

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"We have an analogue of the Shahed, and we have more powerful models, because the Shahed does not fly that far," Mr Smetanin said.

"We are now focusing on the production of more complex and expensive projects with high performance."

According to CEO Ukrainian Defence Industry, the record for combat range among these drones is about 1,000 kilometres, which is roughly the distance from Kharkiv to Kazan, in Russia, or from Sumy to St Petersburg.

The previous management of Ukroboronprom announced the development of a kamikaze drone capable of flying 1,000 kilometres a year ago. At that time, the product was at the testing stage.

In addition, UOP facilities have launched licensed production of three models of FPV drones from private companies.

"There is a great need for FPV drones now. We help private companies scale their development. We have signed licence agreements with three large companies to manufacture their models," Mr Smetanin told Economic Pravda.

"We have people and premises, and components are delivered to us and we produce. We help everyone who comes to us to scale up their designs."

Over the past year, more than 200 Ukrainian companies have launched drone production.