Russia gets moving on plan to make drones

2022-12-01 13:58:39China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Russia has announced that it will begin to mass-produce a self-designed drone next year, as the United States and Europe pledged to provide more air defense equipment to Ukraine.

Russian state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday that the country will begin production of the new drone designed by the Kartsev Institute of Computing to disperse crowds and to gather intelligence on the battlefield next year.

The Shershen is a hexacopter drone that functions in much the same way as a typical quadcopter drone, though it uses both ultrasound and infrasound to disperse crowds, and is designed for use in a domestic security context.

"We are planning to enter serial production of the Shershen after the New Year. From mid-December to January, we will already be able to show the hexacopter in action," Vitaly Dolgov, head of the institute's research laboratory for unmanned vehicles, told TASS.

The Shershen is also battlefield capable and comes equipped with radar jamming technology as well as a camera for intelligence gathering.

The rollout comes amid the effective use of drones by both sides in the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, which has been increasingly shaped by unarmed aerial vehicles.

The Izvestia newspaper reported that oil tanks near Russia's border with Belarus and Ukraine caught fire early on Wednesday, which may have been caused by an unidentified munition dropped from a drone.

Latest shelling

The fire comes a day after Russian regions bordering Ukraine reported one of the widest spates of shelling attacks on their territory since the start of Moscow's military operation.

Kyiv has neither claimed responsibility nor denied attacks on Russian territory, but urged NATO members to speed up weapons deliveries and help restore its shattered power grid.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for more supplies of weapons, especially advanced air defense systems, to come "faster, faster, faster" as he joined a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday pledged the delivery of more Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine.

A senior United States defense official said on Tuesday that the US is considering sending the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine.

To date, the German government has provided short-term financial assistance of approximately 56 million euros ($58 million) to repair energy infrastructure.

As for NATO's expansion, Sweden and Finland have made good progress toward an agreement with Turkiye on the Nordic countries' admission to NATO, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billstrom said on Wednesday.

The alliance also doubled down on Tuesday on its commitment to include Ukraine one day.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with NATO foreign ministers in Romania to drum up support for Ukraine as Russia bombards energy infrastructure going into the frigid winter. Russia cannot stop the alliance's expansion, NATO leaders said.

"NATO's door is open," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing the meeting in Bucharest.


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