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Newest Switchblade tank-killing drones headed for Ukraine from US, defense secretary says

A Ukrainian soldier walks past destroyed Russian tanks SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The $300 million lethal aid package for Ukraine that the Pentagon announced on Friday will include the latest Switchblade combat drones, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed on Tuesday.

According to Bloombergthe White House previously announced a delivery of “300-series” Switchblade drones, which weigh 3.3 pounds, can fly about six miles and stay aloft for about 15 minutes, and are “designed to attack personnel and vehicles light” with a warhead roughly equivalent to a 40 mm grenade.

The Switchblade-600 drones Austin was referring to, Bloomberg reports, weigh 50 pounds, can fly more than 24 miles and stay aloft for 40 minutes, and have the ability to destroy tanks.

write for The viewer On Tuesday, Sam Cranny-Evans explains that the Switchblade-300 “is launched from a tube”, is “about the size of a wand” and “is equipped with an explosive warhead”, noting that the warhead of the Switchblade-600 is the same one used by Javelin anti-tank missiles.

For both models, “the operator flies the drone into an area of ​​interest before detecting, identifying and attacking a target with lethal effect,” Cranny-Evans added. Switchblade drones are sometimes called “kamikaze drones” because they crash into their targets and explode on contact.

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