US Rapidly Developed a Suicide Drone Specifically for Killing Russians in Ukraine
Will be shipped immediately together with 72 more 155mm artillery pieces
Editor’s note: Part of the latest weapons package the US will be sending over 120 “Phoenix Ghost” kamikaze drones. Two months ago “Phoenix Ghost” drones did not exist. They have been designed by the US Air Force and manufacturer “AEVEX” specifically for Ukrainian needs.
The US is also delivering 72 155mm artillery pieces together with towing vehicles. This will make a total of 90 artillery guns that the US has gifted Ukraine. Artillery has proven the premier killer in this war especially when coupled with small camera drones for guidance. Ukraine’s g started the war with around 600 self-propelled artillery pieces, 500 towed guns, and 350 rocket artillery trucks.
90 isn’t such a large number compared to that but if the deliveries are ramped up the US could soon replace all of Ukraine’s artillery losses so far.
DoD provides reporters a bit more info on Phoenix Ghost–it's a tactical drone similar to Switchblade rapidly developed by the Air Force specifically made for Ukrainian requirements. It's manufactured by AEVEX Aerospace. https://t.co/u5MtmzUisf
— Valerie Insinna (@ValerieInsinna) April 21, 2022
Source: Associated Press
President Joe Biden on Thursday announced an additional $800 million in military aid to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion, and he warned that Congress will need to approve additional assistance.
The new military package includes much needed heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and drones for Ukrainian forces in the escalating battle for the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. It builds on roughly $2.6 billion in military assistance that Biden had previously approved.
He also announced that all Russian-affiliated ships would be barred from U.S. ports.
Biden said that $13.6 billion approved last month by Congress for military and humanitarian assistance was “almost exhausted.”
“Next week, I’m going to have to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition deployed without interruption,” Biden said. Congress has signaled it is receptive to further requests and has been expecting there would be a need for further help for the Ukrainians.
Biden did not detail how much additional funding he would request.
Earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country will send heavy artillery to Ukraine. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the Netherlands will send more heavy weapons, including armored vehicles.
The new tranche of military assistance is expected to include 72 155mm howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 72 vehicles used to tow to the howitzers onto the battlefield, and over 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, as well as field equipment and spare parts.
The 72 howitzers are in addition to the 18 announced last week the U.S. was transferring to Ukraine.
A senior U.S. defense official said training of Ukrainian personnel on American 155mm howitzers has begun in a European country outside Ukraine.
Source: Breaking Defense
The latest $800 million arms package for Ukraine includes a unique new item — the Phoenix Ghost tactical drone, a never-before revealed system designed by the US Air Force and tailored specifically to meet the battlefield needs of the Ukrainian military.
The United States will provide more than 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems, which are manufactured by AEVEX Aerospace, the Pentagon announced today.
“The Phoenix Ghost is, this was rapidly developed by the Air Force, in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements,” a senior defense official told reporters. “This is a great example of adapting to their needs in real time.”
The Phoenix Ghost is similar to the Switchblade unmanned systems previously delivered to Ukraine, the official said, in that it is a “one way drone” that is “clearly designed to give a punch” to a number of different types of targets. This likely means that Phoenix Ghost is a low-cost, single-use suicide drone able that behaves like a loitering munition — flying around an airspace before ramming itself into a target.
That said, there are differences in the “scope of capability for the Phoenix Ghost, but I’m just not going to be able to get into more detail about those capabilities,” the official said, citing the classification of the new system.
The official claimed to have “no idea” how Phoenix Ghost got its name, but noted that the new system would require minimal training for Ukrainian operators who are already familiar with Switchblade or other unmanned aircraft.
The Air Force declined to comment on the creation of Phoenix Ghost, directing all inquiries to the Pentagon.
AEVEX Aerospace’s role in the design and manufacturing of Phoenix Ghost is also murky, with the defense official providing few details.
Breaking Defense phoned the company’s Solana Beach, Calif.-based headquarters hoping to find out more information, but was told “We have no comment on the issue you are calling about” by the person who answered the phone. (Breaking Defense had identified itself as a member of the media but had not specifically inquired on Phoenix Ghost. Asked specifically about Phoenix Ghost, the representative for AEVEX repeated that she had no comment.)
AEVEX markets itself as a “a recognized leader in full-spectrum airborne intelligence solutions,” with experience in operating manned and unmanned intelligence aircraft, exploiting the data they collect, and fabricating drones or mission systems.
Thank You Russia for not bombing rail, roads and runways.
Your cooperation is appreciated…. lol