It is reported that the U.S. will provide Ukraine with lethal drones used in the war in Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden announced on the 16th that it would provide an additional $800 million in military equipment, including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles, to Ukraine. The list included “100 drone systems,” which CNN reported as “Switchblade.”
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The Switchblade is a self-destruct drone that tracks and confirms a target with a remote camera after launch and collides with it directly. It is also called “killer drone”. It is also nicknamed Kamikaze drone because it was compared to the self-destructive attack of the Japanese army during World War II. If the Ukrainian military acquires these drones, there are speculations that the activities of the Russian military could be significantly reduced.
According to the information released by the manufacturer, Aero Byronment, there are two types of this drone: the Switch Blade 300, which targets humans, and the Switch Blade 600, which attacks vehicles. The Switchblade 300 is small in size with a length of 60 cm and a weight of 2.5 kg. It can be carried in a backpack. The flight time is up to 15 minutes and it can fly up to a radius of 10 km. The Switchblade 600 can operate for more than 40 minutes and a radius of 32 km. It weighs about 22 kg.
Politico, a political media outlet, said, “The U.S. Special Operations Forces first introduced this drone in Afghanistan. It is light, easy to transport, and has high accuracy, so the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy adopted it right after it was unveiled.” The Switchblade was the first on the Ukraine wish list. Ukraine said it added the drone after discussing a draft list with members of Congress last weekend.
In addition, President Biden announced that he would provide Ukraine with 800 Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, 200 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 7,000 machine guns, grenade launchers, rifles and pistols, and 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and mortar shells.