The 100 Switchblade drones from Aerovironment are part of a much bigger $800 million military aid package that also includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and grenade launchers and mortar rounds, according to CBS News.
The AeroVironment Switchblade drones are basically hi-tech guided missiles that can target Russian troops from miles away with pinpoint precision.
The Switchblade drones in the foreign aid package were referred to as “100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems” by the White House.
There are two different models of the killer drone, the Switchblade 300 and 600, which have been supplied to the United States Special Operations Command by AeroVironment.
The 300 is intended for precise hits on soldiers, whereas the larger 600 is built to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles.
The officials did not say which variant would be provided to Ukraine, or if both would be.
According to NBC News, AeroVironment officials did not respond to requests for comment.
“We stand with our allies and sovereign nations in their right to protect their homelands and their very lives when this fundamental right is threatened,” the company said in a statement on its website headlined “AeroVironment stands with the people of Ukraine and all of NATO.”
The Switchblades drones are remote-controlled smart bombs with cameras, guidance systems, and explosives.
The killer drones can be programmed to target objectives many miles away automatically. They can be maneuvered around objectives until it’s time to strike. The Switchblade 600 is claimed to have a 40-minute flight duration and a range of up to 50 miles.
The term kamikaze drones refers to missiles that are single-use and suicide in nature. They are, however, a fraction of the cost of Reaper drone Hellfire missiles. By some calculations, the 300 might cost as little as $6,000.
The Switchblade 300 can be launched from a tube within minutes.
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