Biden administration mulls providing Ukraine Switchblade ‘killer’ drones
The Biden administration is weighing supplying Ukraine with killer drones called Switchblades that can pinpoint personnel and military equipment accurately, NBC News reported, citing two congressional officials briefed on the matter.
Manufacturer AeroVironment has previously sold two types of Switchblades to the U.S. Special Operations Command: the Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600, the network noted. The 300 is used for targeting personnel, while the 600 is used for targeting equipment like armored vehicles, such as tanks.
The 600 can travel up to 50 miles and for as long as 40 minutes, NBC reported, citing the manufacturer. The set up time for the drones can take just minutes and they can be programmed to aim at targets miles away.
President Biden is anticipated to talk about a new round of military aid to Ukraine on Wednesday, which the drones could be a part of, but no decisions on the Switchblades have been made, NBC News reported.
AeroVironment did not respond to the network’s requests for comment, but NBC News did note a statement on the manufacturer’s website that showed AeroVironment expressing its solidarity with Ukraine.
“We stand for freedom, and we stand with our allies and sovereign nations in their right to protect their homelands and their very lives when this fundamental right is threatened,” AeroVironment said in a statement. “Our full dedication to supporting the response to 9/11 led us to become the world leader in small unmanned aircraft systems.”
“Ukraine and our eastern European allies need these solutions now to win against the Russian military and strategically deter future aggression,” it continued.
When asked about the report, a spokesperson for AeroVironment told The Hill in a statement that the company “is not in a position to comment on the specifics of the U.S. government’s military aid for Ukraine or the transfer of equipment between governments.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House and the Pentagon for comment.
— Updated at 1:21 p.m.
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