Captured US-made Switchblade drones: ‘We’ll use them against Ukraine’
MOSCOW ($1=64.82 Russian Rubles) — A batch of loitering Switchblades munition donated by the United States to Ukraine has been captured by Russian troops. The Russian online portal Ruskaya Vesna publishes photos of unpacked loitering ammunition on its website and on the Telegram channel.
“We took pictures of a batch of American kamikaze drones Switchblade. We expect epic videos of the destruction of Ukrainian armored vehicles and artillery in the direction of Limansky from the same weapon for which so many prayed,” said in a short message on the page and Telegram channel.
Limansky is mentioned in the quotation. In Ukraine, there is the Limansky district, which is located near the city of Odesa, which is located in southwest Ukraine. It can be assumed that in this part of the country the consignment of drones was captured.
The photos show at least two Switchblades loitering drones, judging by the serial numbers of each fin. The drones were photographed after opening their transport boxes. There is no information to confirm: when and where the batch was captured.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that Switchblades 300 is already actively used by Ukrainians, and recently Washington announced that Ukraine will receive the more lethal and accurate version of Switchblade 600. Yesterday, May 26, BulgarianMilitary.com published a video of the launch of Switchblade by a Ukrainian soldier, it is not clear whether this launch was during a real combat operation or a training session.
Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600
Switchblades is developed in two versions – Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600. Both versions are in service only in the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. Interestingly, the US government has banned the manufacturer – AeroVironment to demonstrate the capabilities of the second option – Switchblade 600.
In reality, the Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600 are unmanned aerial vehicles such as robotic intelligent bombs, ie. kamikaze. Like other drones, the Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600 are equipped with electro-optical surveillance, detection, and search systems.
According to the manufacturer, the second version of the Switchblade 600 can travel 80 km in 40 minutes. Both versions are programmable for auto-hitting targets and have the ability after takeoff the operator to change their trajectory and direct them to another target.
The advantage of this type of kamikaze drone is that they are relatively much cheaper than standard air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles. According to unofficial data, the Switchblade 300 costs just $6,000, while one Hellfire air-to-surface missile costs approximately $150,000.
Analysts compare the currently used Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones to the American Switchblade kamikaze drones, saying that the Switchblade “flies much faster than the Bayraktar TB2”. The Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600 are tuned and fired in minutes from the launch tube.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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