Ukrainian special forces destroyed a Russian Buk anti-aircraft missile system launcher using a Switchblade kamikaze drone, the “Return Alive” volunteer fund said in a June 11 Telegram post.

The foundation released a video showing a Buk-M2 – reportedly spotted by Special Operations Forces (SSO) with a Shark reconnaissance drone. The Shark tracked and pinned the strike on the launcher.

The footage then depicts the launcher entering the ramp, followed by a Switchblade attack drone hitting the target, causing an explosion and subsequently thick smoke, indicating the launcher's destruction.

While Kyiv Post couldn’t independently verify the video’s date and location, it likely showed the destruction of a Russian Buk anti-aircraft missile system launcher. However, it’s challenging to determine which impact drone hit the launcher from the video alone.

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According to the Militarnyi media outlet, the Russian Buk was transported by a tractor that halted in the settlement of Sarabash (formerly Komunarivka) in the Donetsk region. Consequently, the Switchblade attack drone had to cover a distance of over 30 kilometers from the front line to neutralize the launcher.

The publication suggested that either the Switchblade 600 barrage munition or an improved version from the American company AeroVironment was used.

Last year, Newsweek reported Ukraine’s acquisition of a fresh shipment of Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones, a crucial asset in the Ukrainian Armed Forces arsenal for combating Russian tanks.

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The wide-reaching attacks came a day after a salvo of Kremlin-launched cruise missiles hit, among other things, a children’s hospital in Kyiv, where at least 31 were killed and 117 injured.

Charlie Dean, Vice President of AeroVironment, hinted that the number of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ control was steadily increasing.

As per the report, Ukrainian forces have been actively deploying both Switchblade 300 and 600 models, with a higher stockpiled inventory of the former (300) version, expected to shift soon.

What do we know about Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones so far?

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The Switchblade system represents a portable and versatile solution for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. Deployed from a mortar-like tube, the Switchblade 600 variant stands out with its extended range and formidable capabilities.

Equipped with advanced optics and over 40 minutes of flight time, the Switchblade 600 covers a range of 40 km, making it ideal for tracking and engaging hardened targets. Its anti-armor warhead enables long-distance strikes capable of neutralizing heavy armored vehicles, including tanks.

Setting up the Switchblade 600 requires under 10 minutes for deployment. Operators benefit from high-resolution sensors and precise flight control, allowing for autonomous target tracking and engagement without external support.

Flexibility is a hallmark of the Switchblade 600, with operators able to abort missions and re-engage targets as needed. Whether deployed from fixed positions, vehicles, or aircraft, it serves as a versatile tool for commanders in multi-domain operations

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