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.


June 11, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "No direct Russian military interest in this UAV yet, but ARF designs and work is always of interest to the MOD, so we should expect some kind of military trial in 2020 when it takes to the air."

C4ISRNET: "This Russian Cyclocopter Drone Design Was 110 Years in the Making"

June 2, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "Its speed [up to 620 miles per hour] and weight — up to 20 tons — means that a host of aerodynamic, electronic and high-tech issues need to be worked out."

The National Interest: "This Russia Drone Looks like a Stealth B-2 Bomber (A Test Flight Is Coming Soon)"

May 30, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "Once that system [Okhotnik] is part of the Russian military then some of the equations related to the Russian military concept of operations and tactics will have to change because Russia will gain a very interesting and very capable aerial vehicle." [8:20]

Defense & Aerospace Report: "CNA's Bendett on New Systems Revealed During Russia's 2019 Victory Day"

May 30, 2019

Samuel Bendett writes, "More funding is also necessary, Putin said, both from state coffers and by wooing investors through public-private cooperation."

Defense One: "Putin Drops Hints About Upcoming National AI Strategy"

May 28, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "One of the main sticking points for the Russian government was the fact that imported operating systems had vulnerabilities and back doors that Moscow thought could be exploited by international intelligence agencies."

Defense One: "Russia's Would-Be Windows Replacement Gets a Security Upgrade"

May 21, 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."

National Interest: "Russia's New Stealth Drone Looks like a B-2 Stealth Bomber. But Can It Fight?"