A deadly “kamikaze drone” is part of the aid announced by the United States for Ukraine to face the Russian invasion, which began on February 24, 2022. The weapon is part of the Switchblade range manufactured by AeroVironment, which has its parent company. in Sim Valley, Calif.
“Military authorities call the weapon, which is carried in a backpack, the ‘kamikaze drone’ because it can be sent directly at a tank or a group of troops, and explodes when it hits the target,” he said. New York Times.
According to former Deputy Secretary of Defense Mick Mulroy, they were designed for the US Special Operations Command. “They are exactly the type of weapon systems that can have an immediate impact on the battlefield,” he said about the batch of 100 units dispatched to Eastern Europe.
Unlike the larger Predator or Reaper, the Switchblades would be easy for Ukrainian soldiers to operate and difficult for Russian defenses to detect. In other words, they represent the best price-quality ratio for “destroying armored convoys” sent by Moscow.
The “kamikaze drone” is just one more of the support elements intended by President Joe Biden for Ukraine. The idea of the package was to provide the European country with “high-tech additional defensive weapons that are easily transportable and require little training to use.”
The technical sheet of the model Switchblade 600 defines it as the new generation of long-range loitering missiles. It is equipped “with an anti-armor warhead to engage larger, reinforced targets at greater ranges,” according to its manufacturer. One of its high points is that “it can be configured and operational in less than 10 minutes”.
“Equipped with the best high resolution EO/IR sensors and advanced precision flight control, it offers quick and easy deployment via tube launch, and the ability to fly, track and engage invisible targets and armored vehicles. with precision lethal effects without the need for external ISR or fire resources,” he said.
Additionally, it can be commanded in a 25-mile (40-kilometer) radius to reach targets further than 56 miles (90 km). With a battery to fly for more than 40 minutes, the military drone weighs 120 pounds (55 kilos) and reaches speeds of up to 115 miles (72 km) per hour.
Valued at $800 million dollars, the White House contribution consisted of 800 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and 9,000 anti-tank weapons, among other smaller caliber supplies, such as machine guns and grenade launchers, the US newspaper added.