The Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Has Digitized Its Fighting Forces on a Shoestring

Ukraine has achieved a cut-price version of what the Pentagon has spent decades and billions of dollars striving to accomplish: digitally networked fighters, intelligence and weapons.

  • Kyiv’s improvised web of drones, fighters and weapons, linked through satellite communications and custom software, is giving its soldiers a level of intelligence, coordination and accuracy that has allowed the initially outnumbered and outgunned forces to run circles around Russia’s massive but lumbering armies.
  • Ukraine’s tech-savvy population has updated guerilla-war techniques for a digital age. Insurgencies have always repurposed tools at hand into weapons—from bamboo spikes to Molotov cocktails. In Ukraine, home to a thriving tech-outsourcing industry and hackers who operate outside the law, the motivated people are often software engineers who connect using digital services like encrypted messenger Signal and networks from companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX. And their tools have become mobile apps, 3-D printers and consumer drones.
  • And Ukrainian programmers have updated a system the military calls Delta to give local commanders real-time battlefield intelligence received from drones and from spotters living in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
  • One element of Ukraine’s success in innovation is how different military units and Ukrainian tech companies are working on their own new military technologies—a bottom-up approach that at times more closely resembles a string of Silicon Valley garages than a Pentagon-funded project.

Read more vis The Wall Streat Journal

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