With the approval of Congress, the White House recently unveiled an $800 million weapons package to aid Ukraine in its war with Russia. This package includes 800 Stinger surface-to-air missile systems, 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missile systems, 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems, 1,000 other light anti-armor weapons and 100 "Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems." (Related: Biden regime significantly escalating conflict likelihood with Russia after decision to send "Switchblade" kamikaze drones to Ukraine.)
The 100 tactical drones were later confirmed to be Switchblade drones. Also known as "kamikaze drones," "suicide drones" or "suicide missiles," the Switchblades carry explosive payloads and are designed to be delivered to their targets by deliberately crashing into them, hence the nicknames.
The Switchblade, designed by defense contractor AeroVironment, comes in two variants: Switchblade 300 and 600.
The 300 can hit targets within six miles and is designed to hit groups of enemy combatants, unprotected weapons systems like mortar emplacements and machine-gun nests and unarmored vehicles like pickup trucks and other repurposed civilian vehicles.
The 600 has a range of 25 miles and it carries an "anti-armor warhead," making it useful for disabling heavier and armored military vehicles.
Both Switchblades are designed to be easily carried into battle and set up during ongoing fights. The 300 weighs just 5.5 pounds, can be carried in a military backpack and can be set up and launched in under two minutes. The 600 is much heavier at 120 pounds – with the explosive payload alone weighing 33 pounds – and may need more than one person to transport into battle. It has a setup and launch time of under 10 minutes
Once launched, the Switchblades can be directed to their targets by an operator on the ground who indicates where he wants the drone to look, where he wants the camera to point and what he wants the drones to focus on.
Both Switchblades are designed to be able to loiter in the air for some time while it seeks a target – the 300 for 15 minutes and the 600 for 40 minutes. If the operators directing them see that they no longer have targets, they can be called off and then recovered after their batteries are recharged.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 18, 2022
According to Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander, the proposal to send 100 Switchblade drones came after a request from the Ukrainian government.
"We've heard the Ukrainians and we take that request very seriously," she said in a testimony before the House Committee on Armed Services.
Before Wallander's testimony, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a plea to American lawmakers to send Ukraine additional military equipment.
A diplomat familiar with the specifics of Ukraine's requests said the government in Kyiv specifically asked the United States and its allies to send more man-portable surface-to-air missile systems like the American Stinger and the British Starstreak, more anti-tank weapons like Javelins, ground-based mobile air defense systems and combat drones.
Ukraine also reportedly asked for long-range anti-ship missiles to deal with Russia's Black Sea Fleet, "off-the-shelf" electronic warfare equipment, satellite navigation systems and communications jamming equipment. Ukraine also repeated its request for the U.S. and its allies to implement a no-fly zone to prevent Russian drones and jets from bombing Ukrainian cities and military targets.
"I think that's probably still a non-starter," said Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. "That doesn't mean we can't up the amount [of supplies sent], do more with equipment and drones and other things that would be just as helpful."
The U.S. is also pressuring its allies in Eastern Europe to send more air defense systems to Ukraine, including Russian-made surface-to-air missile systems like the SA-8 and the S-300. The former can intercept enemy aircraft, while the latter can intercept both aircraft and enemy cruise missiles.
Learn more about the weapons being sent to Ukraine at MilitaryTechnology.news.
Watch this clip from InfoWars as Alex Jones reacts to the news regarding the suicide drones being sent to Ukraine.