UKRAINE has been sent deadly ‘kamikaze’ switchblade drones capable of hovering over a Russian tank for 40 minutes before striking at 115 mph.
The US is sending 10 state-of-the-art Switchblade 600 drones – nicknamed “flying shotguns” – to Ukraine as part of its new $300 million military aid package.
These sophisticated pieces of military equipment weigh 50 pounds and can fly 25 miles and ‘loiter’ over a target for 40 minutes before hitting it at 185 km/h.
The drone, which can be operated and pre-programmed from a tablet device, has special armor-piercing warheads capable of tearing a tank apart, according to Bloomberg.
The Pentagon on Friday announced a shipment of the deadly new weapons, with the Switchblade coming directly from California manufacturer AeroVironment Inc. rather than from US military stocks.
The Switchblade 600s are separated from an $800 million bundle announced by the White House on March 16 that included 100 of the less powerful Switchblade 300 series.
These weigh just 5.5 pounds each, can fly about six miles and hover over a target for up to 15 minutes before hurtling down at a speed of 100 miles per hour.
Both switchblades are top-notch killing tools for the Ukrainians because they’re simple and don’t require much training.
They can be carried in a backpack with a portable tube launcher and set up in just 10 minutes.
They’re also cost-effective: a Switchblade 300 will set you back $6,000 versus $150,000 for a single Hellfire missile on a traditional Predator or Reaper drone.
More impressively, according to AeroVironment, the Switchblade 600 can abort a strike seconds before hitting a target, unlike a Hellfire drone which has been known to hit targets that turned out to be innocent civilians.
The superior kit was sent to Ukraine as a compromise after NATO refused to impose a no-fly zone over the country over fears it would lead to a nuclear clash with Russia.
A GAME CHANGER
Ukrainian forces have already used the deadly suicide drones to destroy Russian tanks.
New footage obtained by Special Operations Forces yesterday showed defenders blasting a Russian tank while fighters allegedly sat on it drinking.
A spokesman for the force said: “SSO operators in Ukraine have developed skills in owning a different breed of modern weaponry.
“An example of this is another destruction of an enemy tank along with the enemy’s manpower.
“According to our soldiers, in one of the positions, the Russian occupiers quietly drank alcohol and sat on the armor of their tank.
“However, the usual Russian occupation was abruptly interrupted by an unexpected air raid.”
The force said they used a “modern kamikaze drone equipped with a powerful explosive” to target the tank.
It suffered “irreparable damage” after the deadly device “flown straight into the tank” – with the attack being filmed by a camera on the “killer drone.”
The Kyiv-based SSO, established in January 2016, did not specify where in Ukraine the strike took place.
In March, footage of an attack appeared on the armed forces’ social media page that appeared to show a Russian T-72 tank before it was suddenly struck by a Ukrainian switchblade
It comes as Ukrainian troops continue to wreak havoc with drones and raid a Russian base, while Vladimir Putin’s disastrous war has seen his forces pushed back to the border.
In another show of force, dramatic footage showed the moment Russian tanks were wiped out after being spotted hiding in back gardens.
And another incredible clip showed a Russian tank being “vaporized” after three Ukrainian shells ignited the ammunition on board – creating a mega-explosion.
The Switchblade has become the weapon of choice for Ukrainian drone operators thanks to its easy-to-assemble launcher and state-of-the-art camera and warhead.
It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for more drones, which could give his armed forces an advantage on the battlefield.
These devices not only give troops the ability to spy on their enemies, but also give small ground units the ability to use their own close air support and precision fire, according to The Drive.
It comes as dramatic footage that showed the moment Ukrainian drones attacked a Russian base.
The clip shows the moment bombs – dubbed “lucky letters” by Ukrainian commanders – fall to the ground before exploding in massive fireballs.
A thermal imaging camera mounted on the small drone gives you a bird’s-eye view of the base as the shells tumble toward the unsuspecting Russians.
The attack was carried out by soldiers from the 503rd Independent Marine Infantry Battalion.
Putin had expected to overrun Ukraine in a matter of days, but instead his troops were pushed back as far as Russia.
Ukrainian troops have fought tooth and nail as they defended their country against the invaders – with Kyiv boasting of killing more than 26,000 soldiers and blowing up thousands of vehicles.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Navy said: “Marines continue to eliminate Russian fascist evil.
“Particularly, fighters from the Marines’ 503rd Separate Battalion sent ‘Letters of Luck’ to tear the orcs away from their ‘joy’.
“Burn the invaders in Hell! Honor the Marines! Glory to Ukraine.”
And elsewhere, Ukrainian forces blew up a bridge captured by the Russians to further disrupt their war effort.
The railway bridge connecting Rubishne and Severodonetsk had been confiscated by the Kremlin.
Rada TV shared the footage with the message: “In order to stop the attack of orcs towards Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, railway bridges were destroyed.”
Ukraine was counterattacking after the Russians first invaded in late February when they attempted to storm into Kyiv.
However, the initial push by the weak and ailing Putin was repelled, and Russia appears to have since revised the objectives of its so-called “special operation”.
And the increasingly well-armed and brave Ukrainian forces hammered the Russians as they pushed them back east.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5418022/ukraine-kamikaze-switchblade-drones-attack-putins-tanks/ How Ukraine Deploys Incredible “Kamikaze” Switchblade Drones That Smash Putin’s Tank At 115 MPH