U.S. Agrees to Make “Phoenix Ghost” Drone for Ukraine – A senior defense official told reporters on Thursday that as part of the latest $800 million aid package for Ukraine, the United States Air Force will provide a custom-designed drone for Ukraine named the Phoenix Ghost.
The never-before-revealed new tactical drone has been modified to meet Ukraine’s very specific needs, and will be delivered in the coming weeks as Ukraine continues to fend off Russian troops in the east. 121 of the new unmanned aerial systems, manufactured by AEVEX Aerospace, will be delivered to the country.
“The Phoenix Ghost is…this was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “This is a great example of adapting to their needs in real-time.”
What is the Phoenix Ghost?
The Phoenix Ghost is a tactical unmanned aerial system, meaning that it will not only be ideal for surveillance use but can also be used to strike Russian troops and military equipment from the air. It will allow Ukrainian soldiers to deliver payloads to Russian-held territories in the east of the country and potentially prevent further encroachment through the Donbas area.
Fox News reports that a senior defense official said the drone design was “based on talking to the Ukrainians about what they need.”
“It’s very much tied to the fight that they’re in, in the Donbas and what that region, from a terrain perspective, portends for the use of force,” the official said.
The new drone, according to Thursday’s announcement, will require minimal instruction. The United States will work with the Ukrainian military to ensure that all troops are up to speed with how to use the unmanned aerial system.
It’s possible that the drone could be similar to the popular Switchblade drones, which have not only been delivered to Ukraine by the United States in large numbers, but with which Ukrainian soldiers are already familiar. Ukrainian troops who were present in the United States before the outbreak of the war have been trained to use the Switchblades.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.