Ukraine is set to receive a fresh shipment of Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones, a critical asset in the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) arsenal for neutralizing Russian tanks, according to Newsweek.

Charlie Dean, the Vice President of AeroVironment, a US defense industry manufacturing company, in a comment to the media outlet, hinted that the number of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the Ukrainian Defense Forces' control is “steadily rising.”

As reported by journalists, Ukrainian forces are actively deploying both the Switchblade 300 and 600 models. Currently, there is a higher stockpiled inventory of the earlier (300) version, but this balance is expected to shift soon.

The entire Switchblade system can be carried in a backpack, it is deployed from a mortar-like tube that throws it into the air before its wings open and its propeller comes to life. It uses a live video feed to direct it onto targets.

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The 300 has a range of up to 10 kilometers and a grenade-sized warhead which is capable of damaging unarmored vehicles while its big brother has a Javelin 8.4 kilogram anti-tank warhead and a range of 40 kilometers.

 

Charlie Dean has explained the paramount importance of the Switchblade 600 in Ukraine's defense strategy.

Dean pointed out that during the entire flight of the Switchblade, the operator has the capability to make real-time decisions regarding the drone’s route.

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The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that air defenses shot down 75 Ukrainian drones over Russian territory and the Black and Azov seas.

AeroVironment maintains a dialogue with Ukrainian Switchblade operators, facilitating continuous improvement and adaptation of the drone designs within a matter of weeks.

Seeking further insight, journalists reached out to the Pentagon for more detailed information. However, the Pentagon declined to comment on specific delivery details.

Jeff Jurgensen, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, said that Washington remains committed to supporting Ukraine in defending itself against aggression from the Russian Federation.

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Previously, the United States expressed its intent to streamline the process of selling export weapons, including to Ukraine, as part of a broader effort to enhance coordination with allies, partners, and industry stakeholders.

The Pentagon says it is currently re-evaluating the criteria for exporting weapons to facilitate these objectives.

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