Russia Goes All-In on Drone Weapons

ON 03/14/2024 AT 03 : 05 AM

Russia recently opened the newest of a series of dedicated spaces to accelerate the advanced development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other drones.
A Russian Orion class military drone.
Russia's Kronstadt Orion family of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, is one of many drones Moscow has deployed in the war with Ukraine and other locations. The country's new "Boiling Point" innovation center which just opened in Moscow should allow it to deploy more tactically adept and deadly drones in the future. Nickel Nitride, Public Domain

It is all part of a plan by the Russian Federation to add as many as one million trained engineers in research, development, and manufacturing of what are more commonly known as “drones”.

And though there are many other opportunities to use drones, in fields as varied as oceanic research, cloud-seeding during times of drought, agricultural planning, and for rapid surveillance after a natural disaster, for Russia it appears the most immediate and important application for its drone workforce will be for military applications.

The first of these working spaces is the newest of Russia’s roughly 180 “Boiling Points”, a combined research and manufacturing center where innovation can grow rapidly and convert quickly into new products.

Opened just recently in Moscow, latest new “Boiling Point” dedicated co-working area is similar to the idea of themed industry incubation facilities and tech parks elsewhere in the world, but with the interesting twist that it was designed around encouraging interaction and cross-organizational innovation across multiple teams.

Like other parks of its kind, this latest Boiling Point spaces for building advanced tech development centers where it can, according to its press partner “TV BRICS” (with the BRICS representing the BRICS group of nations), “jointly shape the architecture of a seamless digital sky, sessions aimed at consolidating the opinions of key industry representatives, formulating new ideas and overcoming existing technological and regulatory barriers.” Unlike similar parks in other countries at least, this one incorporates 14 separate meeting zones plus additional halls for gathering. Those zones and halls make it possible to bring together as many as 300 people at a time in individual special event gatherings.

When fully occupied and facilities complete, the site will include engineering organizations, focused educational centers, advanced research centers, drone manufacturing facilities, and enterprises focusing on artificial intelligence for application in the Unmanned Aerial System industry.

The drone Boiling Point complex was organized in partnership with Russia’s National Technology Initiative (NTI). NTI is chartered by the Russian government to become a future leader in advanced technology fields such as artificial intelligence, space, new materials for a variety of purposes, biomedicine, and quantum technologies including quantum computing. To make that possible, NTI specializes in the creation of organizational ecosystems (such as this new “Boiling Point”) which will foster technology leaps and breakthroughs in each of its chosen fields.

The current Boiling Point initiative regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) innovations was launched at the direction of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Goals for the program include:

  • Increasing the number of Russian UAS devices in operation from the 11,700 estimated to be deployed this year to 32,500 by 2030.
  • Growing the locations with necessary infrastructure to handle flight support needs for this growing collective of drones from 3 this year to 89 just six years ahead.
  • Implement training programs to grow the UAS-capable engineering workforce from 100,000 new employees this year to 1 million by 2030.

The Boiling Point program will engage hundreds of separate companies and other institutions to achieve these aggressive objectives.

As proof of the importance of this initiative to Russia’s future, this week’s opening ceremonies for the new Boiling Point UAS facility brought together some of the country’s most renowned leaders and experts in the field. They included:

  • Dmitry Peskov: Special representative of the Russian president for Digital and Technological Development and CEO of the Autonomous Nonprofit Organization NTI Platform
  • Vadim Medvedev: CEO of the NTI Foundation and Rector of the University 2035
  • Dionis Gordin: Director for Technological Sovereignty of the NTI Platform
  • Ruslan Kirichek: Rector of the Bonch-Bruevich St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications
  • Igor Ishchuk: Head of the Department (Selection and Implementation of Innovative Technologies) of the Russian Defense Ministry, and
  • Natalya Zavyalova: Head of the Radar Algorithms Research Laboratory at MIPT, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

President Vladimir Putin praised the Boiling Point initiative in a statement released from his office this week.

“Today it is an impressive, serious association, a magnet that attracts many countries of the world,” he said.

With Russia being NATO's designated enemy and western war profiteers determined to manufacture and sustain conflict to enrich themselves and with the World Economic Forum determined to start a World War to reduce the human population, Russia needs a robust and extensive defense system and AI driven, robotic weapons platforms are its best options. To date, Russia has remained a leader in weapons technology but lacks the manufacturing and staffing resources to sustain operations in more than one location. It has had to rely on Iran for supplies of drones and possibly missiles and artillery shells from North Korea. 

The United States military came to the same conclusion about defending itself from a future war with China and is ramping its drone capacity as well. In addition to aerial drones, the U.S. is currently testing Terminator robots on the ground in Gaza in support of Israel's genocide of Palestinians and continued theft of their land.