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The Biden administration is reportedly sending more than a hundred new secretive suicide drones to Ukraine as Russian military forces are reportedly exposed after having regrouped in the eastern part of the country.
The Phoenix Ghost, a drone designed by the U.S. Air Force and manufactured by Aevex Aerospace, will quietly loiter over the skies of Ukraine looking for enemy units and will engage by flying directly into the target, which will detonate an explosive warhead.
“Analysts speculate that it is a comparatively small weapon that could be hard to see against the cloud cover that shrouds much of Ukraine in late April and in May,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. “The vehicle’s specific size, shape, payloads and capabilities haven’t be disclosed. Nor has any one explained the origin of the drone’s name.”
John Kirby, chief spokesman for the Pentagon, said that the system was designed “largely, but not exclusively, to attack targets.”
“It can also be used to give you a site picture of what it is seeing, of course. But it’s principal focus is attack,” Kirby said. “Its purpose is akin to that of the Switchblade, which we have been talking about in the past, which is basically a one-way drone and attack drone. And that’s essentially what this is designed to do.”
CNN reported last week that the drone was developed by the U.S. Air Force specifically for Ukraine’s military needs.
“The Pentagon [is] saying it was developed by the U.S. Air Force for Ukrainians’ specific needs in this area,” CNN’s Barbara Starr reported last week. “Similar to the Switchblade drone that they are sending, this means it is a drone, classified project because they’re not telling us what it is, but possibly has both anti-tank, anti-personnel capabilities, developed by the U.S. Air Force, again, for specific Ukrainian needs. And I emphasize this because when we looked up the company that the Pentagon said was developing this drone for Ukraine, it is a U.S. contractor that does work for U.S. Special Operations, specifically for Covert U.S. Special Operations units. This can — may now be the second classified weapons system the U.S. is giving Ukraine.”
Sending approximately 121 Phoenix Ghost drones to Ukraine comes in addition to even more significant military hardware that the U.S. is shipping to the country in hopes of staving off Russia’s invasion.
“The United States alone already has promised [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelensky nearly 190,000 artillery rounds, plus 90 howitzers to fire them,” The Washington Post reported. “As of Thursday, more than half had arrived in Ukraine, said a senior U.S. defense official who, like some others, spoke on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the administration.”