DoD Sends "Phoenix Ghost" Kamikaze Drones To Ukraine
The Department of Defense announced it was sending "121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems" to Ukraine. The never-before-seen kamikaze drone is a brand-new weapon system designed for ambushing Russian tanks.
As reported by Breaking Defense, the Phoenix Ghost tactical drone is similar to the Switchblade drone already fielded in Ukraine.
Ok a bit more from a DoD official, who is loathe to detail the requirements that differentiate Phoenix Ghost from a Switchblade. Its a "one way drone" that "delivers a punch" -- likely meaning that it's a kamikaze drone similar to Switchblade.— Valerie Insinna (@ValerieInsinna) April 21, 2022
Not much is known about the new drone. The DoD described it as a "one-way" drone that will "deliver a punch" and said it would operate similar to the Switchblade drone system.
The War Zone reported that Pentagon Press Secretary Jack Kirby said the Phoenix Ghost's capabilities differ from Switchblades.
"I'm gonna be loath to get into much more detail about the system at this point for classification purposes, but you can safely assume that, in general, it works," Kirby said. "It provides the same sort of tactical capability that a Switchblade does. Switchblade is a one-way drone if you will, and it clearly is designed to deliver a punch. It's a tactical UAS, and Phoenix ghost is of that same category."
California-based AEVEX Aerospace is the defense company that designed and manufactured Phoenix Ghost. The company markets itself as "a recognized leader in full-spectrum airborne intelligence solutions."
The new drone is part of the latest U.S. arms package to Ukraine. Here's what's included:
- Over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
- Over 5,500 Javelin anti-armor systems;
- Over 14,000 other anti-armor systems;
- Over 700 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
- 90 155mm Howitzers and 183,000 155mm artillery rounds;
- 72 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers;
- 16 Mi-17 helicopters;
- Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles;
- 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
- Over 7,000 small arms;
- Over 50,000,000 rounds of ammunition;
- 75,000 sets of body armor and helmets;
- 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
- Laser-guided rocket systems;
- Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems;
- Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels;
- 14 counter-artillery radars;
- Four counter-mortar radars;
- Two air surveillance radars;
- M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
- C-4 explosives and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing;
- Tactical secure communications systems;
- Night vision devices, thermal imagery systems, optics, and laser rangefinders;
- Commercial satellite imagery services;
- Explosive ordnance disposal protective gear;
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment;
- Medical supplies to include first aid kits.
Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, accused Biden of pumping Ukraine with weapons:
"The U.S. authorities do not seem to be interested in a ceasefire. What matters for John Kirby and his colleagues is that the American military-industrial complex receives additional income by getting rid of obsolete weapons from their warehouses," Antonov said.
So far, the Biden administration has committed more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and has just requested a whopping $33 billion more. The massive request includes billions of dollars for economic and humanitarian aid.