Three kamikaze drones struck the small town of Makariv, situated west of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

 

What are Kamikaze drones?

  • These are small unmanned aircraft packed with explosives that can be flown directly at a tank or a group of troops that are destroyed when it hits the target and explodes.
  • The name comes from the World War 2 era’s feared Japanese kamikaze pilots, who conducted suicide attacks by intentionally crashing their explosive filled aircraft into enemy targets.
  • The modern drone versions have the capability of surpassing traditional defences to strike their targets and are also cheaper than their larger counterparts.
  • The small lethal drones are difficult to detect on radar, and through the use of facial recognition, can be programmed to hit targets without human intervention.
  • Although the U.S. Kamikaze might be the most advanced in this class of drones, Russia, China, Israel, Iran and Turkey all have some versions of it.
  • The US kamikaze drones are cheaper than most other drones made in the country, and come in two sizes —
      • Switchblade 300 suicide drone — It weighs about five pounds (2.26 kilograms), can fly for up to 15 minutes at a time, and is designed to be carried in a backpack.
      • Switchblade 600 — It weighs about 50 pounds, can fly for up to 40 minutes, and is known as a “loitering missile” that can hover around an area for some time and target armoured vehicles.