June 01, 2023

Russia Has a Big Drone Problem

Source: Newsweek

Journalist: Ellie Cook

Samuel Bendett, a co-author of the CNA report, told Newsweek that there are several fundamental issues for Moscow's military-industrial complex, not least that Russia relies on imported technology which it cannot substitute for domestic equivalents.

Certain parts of the defense industry are resistant to change, contributing to this problem, he added.

"Many industries prefer to continue manufacturing the UAVs they produced before the invasion, even as the ongoing war is demonstrating the need for a different technology that is cheaper and faster to assemble, and can be just as lethal," Bendett argued.

Within an uncoordinated industry, smaller manufacturers in Russia that could offer innovation—but cannot mass-produce new drones for Moscow's military—are being drowned out by large, state-backed companies, Bendett said. These parties "do not always work well—or don't want to listen to smaller, more nimble companies" offering changes from the status quo, Bendett added.

Read the full story and more from Newsweek.


  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves research on the ...