The US Government recently announced a new package of long-term security assistance for Ukraine with a $2 billion commitment to send more rounds of ammunition and a variety of small, high-tech drones, including the upgraded Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drones.
About Switchblade 600 kamikaze drone –
- The Switchblade 600 kamikaze drone is a man-portable tube-launched loitering munition developed and designed by the US company AeroVironment.
- It is an upgraded version of Switchblade 300 fitted with an ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile), designed to neutralise tanks and heavy armored vehicles.
- It aims to provide precision optics for destroying targets in a direct downward strike.
- It can fly, track and engage non-line-of-sight targets and armored vehicles with precision lethal effects without the need for external ISR(Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) or fire assets.
- It has a range of over 40 km and has more than 40 minutes of flight endurance.
- It is powered by an electric battery and propeller.
- It is equipped with high-resolution EO/IR sensors and advanced precision flight control, which are used for navigation, surveillance, and targeting.
What are Kamikaze drones?
- Kamikaze drones are crewless aerial vehicles loaded with explosives that can fly directly to tanks or units and explode on collision.
- They are known as a “loitering munition” because they are capable of circling for some time in an area identified as a potential target and only striking once an enemy asset is identified.
- They are small, portable and can be quickly launched.
- They are designed to crash into a target and explode, detonating their warhead and destroying the drones in the process.
- Their main advantage is that they are hard to detect and can be fired from a distance.