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What the Ukraine conflict tells us about the future of drone warfare

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Watch: The evolution of drone warfare.

The conflict in Ukraine is offering lessons in how quickly drone technology can be developed – showing how innovative and resourceful people can be when they are facing the life or death of their country.

Dr Sophy Antrobus, a Research Fellow with the Freeman Air and Space Institute who served in the Royal Air Force for 20 years including in Iraq and Afghanistan, likened Ukraine’s innovative use of drones in warfare to Britain’s rapid development of the Spitfire fighter aircraft during the Second World War.

She suggested wars such as this channelled the minds of the people facing such a threat – leading to rapid innovations in the use of technology, which she suggested could be seen in how Ukraine was now using a variety of drones with a range of capabilities in warfare.

She suggested the conflict in Ukraine is giving an insight into the future of drone warfare and offering lessons which other militaries could learn from.

Unmanned aerial vehicles have become a common feature in Ukraine on the frontline against Russian invaders, including smaller commercial drones that have been adapted for the battlefield.

Dr Antrobus explained to Forces News how the future of drone warfare might evolve and how artificial intelligence could change the way militaries operate drones on the battlefield.