Ukraine launches production of ammunition for UAVs

The armed forces feel a growing reliance on drones in the battlefield.

Ukraine’s defense industry plant Mayak has started manufacturing new aviation ammunition that can be launched from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as its armed forces’ reliance on drones is getting momentum. 

Mayak said on its Facebook page that it would manufacture two types of fragmentation bombs weighing one kilogram and half a kilogram, respectively. The entire production is meant for the Ukrainian armed forces. 

"The OB-23.1 bomb, weighing 1 kg, has a guaranteed strike zone with a radius of 11 meters.

The OB-23.05 bomb, weighing 0.5 kg, has a guaranteed strike zone with a radius of 4.5 meters," a company statement reads, without disclosing other details.

The Ukrainian defense complex, Ukroboronprom, which includes Mayak, started in late 2022 manufacturing 125mm tank gun shells and 122mm artillery shells which are compatible with NATO standards.

As of the end of March, according to NATO accounts, Ukrainian forces fired up to 7,000 shells a day, which is almost three-fold less than the Russian army used - 20,000.

The government in Kiev relaxed the import of military equipment and components including electronics and materials for drone production, in a bid to cut the price and time of shipping. It also removed until January 2024 the value-added tax and customs duties for military and civilian drones, thermal imagery devices, radio stations, night vision sights, optical and collimator sights, and other items that can be used for military purposes. 

Mayak was founded in 1924 and was part of the Soviet military industry’s backbone during the World War II.