Effective use of drones not to compensate for lack of ammunition for Ukraine – ISW

Illustrative image. Photo: Defense of Ukraine/X

The Ukrainian military’s effective use of drones on the battlefield cannot fully mitigate Ukraine’s theater-wide shortage of critical munitions.

That’s according to the Institute for the Study of War.

According to ISW analysts, Ukrainian forces have partially mitigated ongoing artillery ammunition shortages by using FPV drones to blunt Russian infantry and armored vehicle assaults, although artillery systems can deliver much more powerful strikes than loitering munitions and drone-dropped munitions.

“Ukraine’s ability to repel mechanized assaults with FPV drones is a partial mitigation, however, and continued shortages of artillery deprive Ukrainian forces of the ability to destroy armored vehicles rapidly and in large numbers,” the report said.

On April 10, US European Command (EUCOM) Commander General Christopher Cavoli claimed that Russian forces have a five-to-one artillery advantage at the frontline, the same was stated by Ukrainia officials. However, Russian forces could achieve a 10-to-1 artillery advantage “in a matter of weeks” if the United States keeps blocking aid for Ukraine.

“Delays in Western military assistance have forced the Ukrainian military to husband materiel and that Ukrainian forces must make difficult decisions prioritizing certain aspects of its defense at the cost of lives and lost territory as well as at the expense of contesting the initiative to constrain Russian military capabilities or planning for future counteroffensive operations,” ISW analysts said.

Also, Zelensky told BILD that drones are not enough to replace air defenses Ukraine currently lacks to protect its infrastructure. This issue already has dire consequences as Ukraine lost its biggest power plants in a few weeks.