The Future of Drone Warfare: Insights from Ukrainian Wild Hornets Co-Founder

In a recent interview with Forbes, Dmytro Prodanyuk, co-founder of Ukrainian drone maker Wild Hornets, shared his thoughts on the future of drone warfare and the challenges faced by the industry. With President Zelensky setting an ambitious target of building a million drones in 2024, has already shattered records by producing 200,000 drones in the first two months of this year.

Ukraine's Drone Production Boom

Prodanyuk believes that Ukraine's drone production could reach two to three million units this year, surpassing the initial goal of one million. Many of these drones are small FPV (First Person View) attack drones assembled by individuals in their spare time. However, the cutting edge lies with groups like Wild Hornets, who develop new generations of drones, designing and testing them before putting them into production.

One of the biggest challenges faced by drone makers in Ukraine is funding. While most are private businesses, Wild Hornets stands out as a nonprofit organization. Soldiers' recommendations and videos about Wild Hornets have brought increased awareness and support from donors, allowing for a significant production boost in the fall of 2023.

Wild Hornets' Drone Catalog

Wild Hornets offers several types of drones for different purposes, classified by frame size:

  • 7- or 8-inch models: 1.5 kg payload, up to 20 km range
  • 10-inch version: 2.5 kg payload, similar range

Prodanyuk notes that 70-80% of strikes occur at 10 km or less. Wild Hornets has also pioneered the use of FPVs as reusable bombers, which typically survive 10 to 30 flights before being lost, making them more cost-effective than kamikaze drones.

Despite the prevalence of Russian jamming, Wild Hornets constantly updates their designs to counter electronic warfare. A combination of hardware, tactics, and operator skill has led to a higher proportion of drones getting through compared to a year ago.

Advancements in Drone Technology

Wild Hornets has introduced several innovative drone technologies, such as:

  1. “Wally” – a night attack drone with a low-cost night vision system
  2. “Queen Hornet” – a mothership drone that acts as a radio relay and carries an FPV attack drone

However, the most significant development is likely to be in (AI), with the first Ukrainian with automatic target recognition already being fielded. AI guidance makes drones immune to jamming and may have a better strike rate than human pilots.

The Future of Drone Warfare

Prodanyuk believes that the main change brought about by drones is the increase in combat ranges, with kills being scored from many miles away. However, he anticipates that the large-scale adoption of AI and fully autonomous drones could significantly alter the battlefield within a year.

“Ukraine is leading the way in showing how FPV drones can be used in an actual war,” says Prodanyuk. “There will be a lot of interesting things coming!”

As continues to advance, the impact on modern warfare remains to be seen, but it is clear that FPVs are poised to become a dominant force on the battlefield.

Photo courtesy of Wild Hornets.

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © DroneXL.co 2024. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from DroneXL.co is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us first.

FTC: DroneXL.co is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 3146

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.