Besides money and sanctions, Biden has been reluctant to lend military aid, but that may change as the president is reported to be mulling dispatching “Kamikaze drones,” small, light weaponry meant to take out tanks and artillery.
• The drones are adept at destroying tanks from a distance of up to 25 miles.
• The drone might be part of a $800 million military support deal worth more than $1 billion.
• In addition to drones, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles are expected to be sent to Ukraine.
Biden explores arming Ukraine with Switchblades drones.
Per a report, President Biden is contemplating arming Ukraine with so-called “kamikaze drones” capable of destroying tanks from a distance of up to 25 miles as part of over $1 billion in military aid.
According to two congressional insiders, the commander-in-chief is mulling sending lethal US-made Switchblade drones to the war-torn country – which the US has previously employed mainly in secret.
It might be featured in Biden’s latest $800 million aid offer set for 11:45 a.m. today, shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s slated historic virtual address to Congress.
There are two Switchblades supplied – the larger, 50-pound 600 models are equipped with an anti-armor warhead suited to damage tanks and other armored vehicles while being guided via tablet.
According to its manufacturer, AeroVironment, the Switchblade 600 can “loiter” in the air for more than 40 minutes, enabling it to travel 25 miles discreetly before swooping at its target at speeds of up to 115 mph.
A White House official said that Biden would announce an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine.
The “Kamikaze” drones; small, light weapons designed to take out tanks or artillery, effectively stalling the Russian Invasion
According to the company, a smaller Switchblade 300 weighs just 5.5 pounds and is adept at zeroing in on and eliminating troops from a range of more than 6 miles.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the United States has deployed the Switchblade in combat in Afghanistan but has never made it public.
Zelensky is slated to appeal to the US for additional weapons yet again.
AeroVironment had no comment on the report, but it tweeted a promotional video touting its devices on the same day.
Additionally, on its website, the Washington, DC-based company stated that it “stands with the people of Ukraine.”
The company, which bills itself as the world leader in small unmanned aircraft systems, stated that Ukraine and our eastern European allies urgently require these solutions to combat the Russian military and strategically deter future aggression.
According to NBC News’ sources acquainted with the subject, the US has deployed the Switchblade in combat in Afghanistan.
According to a White House official, Biden will announce an additional $800 million in military assistance, which is expected to include other anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles that have helped bring Russia’s three-week-old Invasion to a halt.
The package brings “the total (help) announced in the previous week alone to $1 billion,” the official added, with the total expected to reach at least $1.2 billion this year.
Zelensky is set to appeal to the US for additional weapons in his address to Congress, having previously slammed the West’s failure to restrict the airspace over his war-torn nation.
While Biden has offered financial support and sanctions, he has been unwilling to commit military assistance, exacerbating relations with Russia and triggering direct conflict with the US.
Anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles have aided in slowing down Russia’s three-week-old Invasion.
According to NBC sources, the administration is also cautious of deploying cutting-edge weaponry to areas that may get into enemy hands and be used against Ukraine and possibly even NATO.