Thursday, July 7

This is what a Switchblade “kamikaze” drone sees just before crashing into a Russian tank

We have known for months that “kamikaze” drones are being used by Ukraine in its war with Russia. However, until now we had not seen them in action. Now, a video posted on Twitterattributed to the Ukrainian Army Special Operations Forces, shows what appears to be a Switchblade 300 drone swooping down on a Russian T-72 tank.

These drones have been on the battlefield since the United States included them in one of its shipments of military weapons to Ukraine. Unlike large military drones, which are remotely controlled by trained pilots and launch missiles at their targets, the Switchblade 300s, branded as loitering weapons, are easy to use, small and accurate.

An attack on a Russian tank

The video shows us an attack against an armored vehicle from different angles. On the one hand we have the view of what appears to be an observer drone, which shows a general plane of an unidentified combat zone, and a hit against a tank. On the other hand, we see an observation plane that would correspond to the Switchblade 300, which approaches its target at full speed.

Although the images are lost just before the impact, we can get an idea of ​​what happened at that moment by consulting the information provided by the manufacturer of the AeroVironment drone. Switchblades are launched from a small tube that is placed on the ground. From that moment on, they have a flight autonomy of about 15 minutes, during which time they can prowl around until they identify their target.

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An operator follows the trajectory thanks to the GPS positioning system and the video signal transmitted by the drone itself as well as that of the additional S2S systems. Once the attack order is given, the Switchblade takes flight control and swoops down on its target.

Switchblades also have a failsafe that allows them to abort a mission. This feature is useful in scenarios where civilians appear or if the target starts to move and the range of the aircraft is not enough to reach it.

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It is not clear what kind of damage the drone managed to inflict on the tank, but the crew above the turret may have suffered the worst consequences. The structure of the armor, for its part, may have been little affected, since this type of weapon is designed to attack light vehicles.

AeroVironment also has a more advanced generation of its kamikaze drones, the Switchblade 600. These are capable of attacking targets without the support of other observation drones and are designed to disable tanks. Of course, we do not know if the US also sent this type of drone to Ukraine.

In Xataka | In its war with Russia, Ukraine just received a critical weapon: Switchblade “kamikaze” drones

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