How Ukraine is using incredible ‘kamikaze’ Switchblade drones as they smash into Putin’s tanks at 115mph

UKRAINE has been sent deadly "kamikaze" Switchblade drones which can hover over a Russian tank for 40 minutes before striking at 115mph.

The US is sending 10 state-of-the-art Switchblade 600 drones – nicknamed "flying shotguns" – to Ukraine as part of its new $300m military assistance package.

These sophisticated bits of military kit weigh 50lb and can fly 25 miles and "loiter" above a target for 40 minutes before striking them at 115mph.

The drone – which is operated by a tablet device and can be pre-programmed – have special armour-piercing warheads that can shred a tank to pieces, according to Bloomberg.

The Pentagon announced a shipment of the deadly new weaponry on Friday, with the Switchblade coming directly from California-based manufacturer AeroVironment Inc, instead of the US' military stockpile.

The Switchblade 600s will be separate from a $800m package announced by the White House on March 16, which included 100 of the less powerful Switchblade 300 series.


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These weigh a light 5.5 pounds each, can fly about six miles and hover over a target for up to 15 minutes before spiralling down at a speed of 100mph.

Both Switchblades make prime killing tools for the Ukrainians because they are easy and don't require a lot of training.

They can be carried in a backpack with a portable tube launcher and take as little as 10 minutes to set up.

They're also cost-efficient: a Switchblade 300 will set you back $6,000, versus $150,000 for a single Hellfire missile from a conventional Predator or Reaper drone.

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What's more impressive is the Switchblade 600 can abort a strike seconds before hitting a target, according to AeroVironment, unlike a Hellfire drone which is known to have hit targets that turned out to be innocent civilians.

The superior kit was sent to Ukraine as a compromise after NATO refused to impose a no-fly zone over the country, fearing it would lead to nuclear clash with Russia.


Ukrainian forces have already put the deadly suicide drones to use to destroy Russian tanks.

Fresh footage obtained from the Special Operations Forces yesterday showed defenders blasting a Russian tank as fighters are said to have been sitting on top boozing.

A spokesman for the force said: "SSO operators in Ukraine have developed skills in owning another type of modern weapon.

"An example of this is another destruction of an enemy tank along with the enemy's manpower.

"According to our soldiers, the Russian occupiers were quietly drinking alcohol at one of the positions, sitting on the armour of their tank.

"However, the usual Russian occupation was abruptly interrupted by an unexpected attack from the air."

The force said they used a "modern kamikaze drone equipped with a powerful explosive" to target the tank.

It suffered "irreparable damage" after the deadly device "flew straight into the tank" – with the attack filmed by a camera on the "killer drone".

The SSO – which was founded in January 2016 and is headquartered in Kyiv – did not specify where in Ukraine the strike took place.

Footage of an attack appeared on the Forces' social media page in March appearing to show a Russian t-72 tank before being suddenly struck by a Ukrainian Switchblade

It comes as Ukrainian troops continue to wreak havoc with drones, using one to blitz a Russian base as Vladimir Putin's disastrous war has seen his forces pushed all the way back to the border.

In another show of strength, dramatic footage showed the moment Russian tanks were obliterated after they were spotted hiding in back gardens.

And a further incredible clip showed a Russian tank being "vaporised" after three Ukrainian grenades ignited the ammo on board – creating a mega-blast.

The Switchblade has become the weapon of choice for Ukrainian drone operators thanks to its easy-assemble launcher and state-of-the-art camera and warhead.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for more drones that could give his forced an advantage on the battlefield.

These devices not only provide troops with the ability to spy on their enemy, but also provides small ground units with the ability to deploy their own close air support and precision firing, according to The Drive.


It comes as dramatic footage showed the moment Ukrainian drones blitzed a Russian base.

The clip shows the moment bombs – dubbed by Ukrainian commanders as "letters of happiness" – fall to the ground before exploding in massive balls of fire.

With a thermal camera mounted on the small drone, you have a birdseye view of the base as the shells plummet towards the unsuspecting Russians.

The attack was carried out by soldiers from the 503rd Independent Marine Infantry Battalion.

Putin had expected to roll over Ukraine in a matter of days, but instead his forces have found themselves pushed all the way back into Russia.

Ukrainian troops have been fighting tooth and claw as they defend their country against the invaders – with Kyiv boasting they have killed more than 26,000 soldiers and blown up thousands of vehicles.

In a statement, Ukraine's navy said: "Marines continue to dispose of Russian fascist evil.

"In particular, fighters from the 503rd Separate Battalion of Marines sent ‘letters of happiness’ to tear the orcs away from their ‘joy’.

“Burn the invaders in hell! Glory to the Marines! Glory to Ukraine.”

And elsewhere, Ukrainian forces blew up a bridge captured by the Russians to continue to disrupt their war effort.

The railway bridge, offering a line between Rubizhne and Severodonetsk, had been seized by the Kremlin.

Rada TV shared the footage with the message: “In order to stop the orcs' attack in the direction of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, railway bridges have been destroyed.”

Ukraine has been on the counterattack after Russians first invaded at the end of February as they attempted to storm towards Kyiv.

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Weak and sickly Putin's initial advance however was beaten back, and Russia has since seemingly revised the objectives of its so-called "special operation".

And the increasingly well-armed and gutsy Ukrainian forces have hammered the Russians as they force them back East.

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