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Timing of US drone delivery to Ukraine revealed — Analysis

Defense News reports that the Pentagon continues to work on a contract for heavier Switchblade 600 lotering munitions.

A contract to supply ten ‘kamikaze drones’ to Ukraine, which was announced months ago, is expected within 30 days, Defense News reported on Monday, citing a Pentagon spokesperson.

The actual delivery date for the weapons, Switchblade 600 loitering munitions, also known as ‘kamikaze drones’, will be set after the contract is finalized, the representative, Jessica Maxwell, said in an email, the military news website said.

Littering munitions are drones with explosive payloads. These drones are capable of carrying out reconnaissance and landing on targets to cause damage.

In a variety of weapons package, the US shipped to Ukraine three Switchblade 300 drones made by AeroVironment. In April, the Pentagon stated that it would send ten heavier models with longer range to Ukraine, however no such shipments have yet been completed.

Defense News reports that some of the delays were due to the Switchblade 600 still being in its prototype phase. It needs to be tested before the Switchblade 600 can go into production.




Aleksey Reznikov, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, called for nations that arm his country to send him new weapon systems to be tested in combat.

“We are sharing all the information and experience with our partners. We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting the arms manufacturers to test their new products here,”Reznikov spoke at the time.

The Switchblade 300, which is an anti-personnel weapons, can travel up to 10km, and lasts for ten minutes. According to its producer, it has a range that reaches as far as 10km. It can travel as far as 40km with a maximum stay of 20 minutes. The 600 model was made for armored targets. 

These drones could be used as a quick and affordable alternative to calling air support.

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