Samuel Bendett


Samuel Bendett is a Research Analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses' International Affairs Group, where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves Russian defense and security technology and developments, Russian geopolitical influence in the former Soviet states, as well as Russian unmanned systems development, Russian naval capabilities and Russian decision-making calculus during military crises.

Prior to joining CNA, Bendett worked at the National Defense University on emerging and disruptive technologies for government response in crisis situation, where he conducted research on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD-P) and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD-AT&L). His previous experience includes working for US Congress, private sector and non-profit organizations on foreign policy, international conflict resolution, defense and security issues.

Bendett's analyses, views and commentary on Russian military robotics, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence capabilities appear regularly in the C4ISRnet, The National Interest, DefenseOne, Breaking Defense, War Is Boring, and The Strategy Bridge. He was also a foreign policy and international affairs contributor to the blog, writing on Russian military technology.

Bendett received his M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and B.A. in Politics and English from Brandeis University. He has native fluency in Russian.


August 21, 2019

Samuel Bendett says that the testing of the two UAVs [Altius-U and Okhotnik], "moves beyond the discussion of whether or not they can [build these types of weapons] to, 'Yes they did.'"

Business Insider: "Russia's New High-Altitude Drone Just Flew for the First Time, and They Want to Arm It with One Ton of Bombs"

August 13, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "Russian military has been practicing the operation of different UAVs at high altitudes and in high wind — so this Fixar UAV can prove useful right away."

C4ISRNET: "Will This Hybrid Drone Give Russia a High-Altitude Advantage?"

August 13, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "That's the biggest news, the Russians are using unmanned ground vehicles to try and clean up the aftermath of that explosion."

Defense & Aerospace Report: "CNA's Bendett on Russian Explosions, Unmanned Systems, Russian Drone Okhotnik"

August 5, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "At this point, it is going to be heaviest and fastest UAV [in Russian service] if and when fielded, but additional testing and evaluation will have to take place in order for this unmanned system to be fully functional."

The National Interest: "Russia's B-2 Lookalike Stealth Drone Just Flew for the 1st Time"

July 31, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "We know that some [UGV] models may be used for breaching ops, others for guard duties, others for swarming tactics or demining operations, but we don't yet have the same view as with UAVs."

C4ISRNET: "Is This Russia's Gateway Drone to Better Armed Robots?"

July 31, 2019

Samuel Bendett writes, "Russia's investments in artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies that can help its soldiers counter the physical, cognitive, and operational challenges of urban warfare and perform better in future conflicts deserve closer attention."

War on the Rocks: Russian AI-Enabled Combat: Coming to a City Near You?