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Putin Has a Problem: Ukraine Is Getting More Switchblade Drones

Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Industry handout.
Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Industry handout.

The United States is sending more Switchblade unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine. The popular drones have proven essential to Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders. Reports suggest that the U.S. Army contacted the California-based weapons manufacturer AeroVironment to supply more Switchblade drones to Ukraine.

The tube-launched and portable drones are designed to destroy themselves on impact in precision strikes. They already helped Ukrainian forces fend off Russian troops in central Ukraine, and now they are seeing action in the Donbas

Implications of the Contract

The new $17.9 million contract will cover the hardware production of new Switchblade drones for Ukraine. Technically, the agreement is a modification of a previously agreed contract. It is estimated to be completed by May 4 of next year. 

The completion date might hint at a belief in Washington that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will continue for another year. But the continuing supply of Switchblades may also reflect the United States’ belief that Ukraine must be able to defend itself, even after the war comes to an end. 

What Is the Switchblade?

The U.S. military has long used the Switchblade, and this loitering munition drone is now among the most commonly used unmanned aerial vehicles in the Russia-Ukraine war. 

Stored in a tube and easy to transport, the smaller Switchblade 300 model can be launched by a single soldier holding the tube over their shoulder. As the drone is launched, the wings automatically unfold, and the vehicle flies. While the drone is in the air, a camera fitted to its nose allows an operator on the ground to fly the drone and survey from the air. 

Commonly called the Kamikaze drone – a reference to the Japanese aircraft used in World War II that was filled with explosives and flown directly into targets – these drones are single-use. They are designed to offer troops greater precision when targeting enemies.


Switchblade Drone. Image Credit: Industry Handout.

Switchblade Russia Ukraine

Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Industry handout.

Ukraine Releases Video Footage of Drone Attack

On May 6, Ukraine released video footage of a Switchblade attacking a Russian machine gun position, successfully taking out the target and proving the effectiveness of these new drones. 

The footage was released by the 53rd Mechanized Brigade.

So far, thousands of drones have been donated to Ukraine, including both the smaller Switchblade 300 model, and the larger 600 variant.

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.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.



  1. Alex

    May 10, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Jim Chambers (Fergie Chambers) – a journalist from NY spoke about how he SAW the attacks of Ukrainian fascists on peaceful Ukrainians. He told how he SAW what horrors the Bandera Nazis were doing to the Ukrainians. He said that food and medicine appeared when the Russian Liberators came.

    He told how he SAW Nazi paraphernalia wherever the military of Ukraine abandoned their positions (swastikas, Mein Kampf books, paintings by Hitler, Bandera, etc.).

    He SAW how opponents of the regime of the Ukrainian authorities were detained, tortured and killed. He told how the people of Ukraine are waging their struggle for existence and for peace without Bandera Nazis. He spoke about how the Russian liberators help civilians and the Ukrainians ask the Russians not to leave. The Ukrainians are upset that the Russians came late, they should have come earlier.

    He said: “Our American weapons have only exacerbated the useless bloodshed in a battle that the Ukrainian fascists can never win. I am ashamed to carry an American passport with me. The world desperately needs a Russian victory: at the end of Ukrainian Nazism and at the end of the American NATO empire. World needs victory for freedom.”

  2. Alex

    May 10, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Graham William Phillips is an outstanding British journalist who objectively and unbiasedly covers events in Ukraine.

    He is in a war zone and interviews all sides. He confirms the existence of Bandera Nazis who brutally torture and kill Ukrainians just because they do not want to see Bandera Nazis in their country.

    He confirms that the Ukrainians are asking the Russian liberators not to leave them anymore and not to leave.

    It is interesting to see how Graham interviews Aiden Aislin, a Briton who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the Nazi Azov Battalion and was taken prisoner in Mariupol.

    The truth will always see the world thanks to such professionals, and not propagandists, who sometimes have never been to Ukraine and are thousands of miles away.

    No Nazism. We – free people will win.

  3. speedster

    May 10, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Chambers and Phillips are exactly seven alphabetical letters from each immediate preceding Christian name. I leave it to you to decide that such a coincidence should not occur, if one questions the validity of the claims made for the names produced.

    • Alex Truman

      May 12, 2022 at 1:51 am

      Also he doesn’t say what news organisation they work for or any published articals . So probably fake . There is a lot of unverified claims of so called reporters with no verification being placed by Russia.even poorly photoshoped images of so called nazi paraphernalia. Wheres a lot of other sources with verified claims . Live interviews and verified accounts of russian atrocities .

  4. speedster

    May 10, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Graham Phillips, was so unbiased that he worked for the Russian state owned tv. If he told the truth, Russian tv, would have sacked him.

    • Alex

      May 10, 2022 at 6:03 pm

      You’re just a little liar turned inside out by the truth. While you are so twisted in terms of information. But soon you will turn out in the truest sense of the word, Banner Nazis.

  5. speedster

    May 10, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Jim Chambers, is a communist, who in an article talked about communist china challenging the hegemony of the usa.
    Unfortunately communists have proverbial blinkers, where so called capitalist systems are concerned.The
    The usa has the largest economy in the world as a result of the superiority of the market economy over socialist systems.
    If, God forbid, socialism ever took over, then China would no longer have a capitalist country to steal intellectual property from. The reason I mention intellectual property is because there is no incentive to invent new products in socialist systems. The first thing socialists do is establish a dictatorship and nationalise everything. Inevitably the free press gets closer down.

  6. Him

    May 11, 2022 at 12:49 am

    Alex and the Russian trolls refuse to comment on Soviet Russia being allies with Nazi Germany at the start of WW2.

    Alex cites Bandera being allies with the Germans in WW2 — but, Alex, the total number of Bandera’s forces are so small compared to the entire Soviet Russia ALSO being allies with the SAME Nazi’s.

    Alex keeps copying and pasting the same junk, but refuses to comment on anything that shows the Russians are the ones allied with the Nazis. That’s why the Russians are doing exactly what the Nazis did.

  7. Alex

    May 11, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    A bit of truth.

    The head of the UN monitoring mission, Matilda Bogner, said that the organization has reliable information about the torture of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian captivity:
    “Ukraine and Russia must promptly and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war,” she said.

    The military-civilian administration of the Kherson region announced their intention to appeal to Putin with a request to include the region into Russia:
    “We intend to live as part of the Russian Federation. We fully cooperate and feel as one with the regions of Russia.”

    Pfizer, Moderna, Merck, Gilead are testing medicines in Ukraine, bypassing international safety standards, reducing the costs of research programs and gaining significant competitive advantages. Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers have been involved in US military biological activities.

    Along with American pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian state structures are involved in military biological activities, the main tasks of which are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials, and provide the necessary biomaterial.
    The American side expanded its research potential both in the field of creating biological weapons and in the field of obtaining information about antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to various diseases in the population of specific regions.

    Ukraine has long become a training ground for Western countries to create biological weapons components and test new samples of pharmaceuticals.

    The United States, as part of its military biological program in Ukraine, used Mariupol as a regional center for work with the cholera pathogen.
    Evidence was obtained of the emergency destruction of documents confirming work with the US military department. A preliminary analysis of the surviving documentation indicates the use of Mariupol as a regional center for the collection and certification of the cholera pathogen.

    The selected strains were sent to the public health center in Kyiv, which is entrusted with the functions of further sending biomaterials to the United States.
    This activity has been carried out since 2014, which is confirmed by the acts of transfer of strains.

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Fox News recalled that the United States supplied weapons to Ukraine long before the start of the Russian special operation.
    “The Biden administration was supplying weapons long before the invasion. The first billion dollars that the president allocated for Ukraine did indeed include assistance with lethal weapons … The United States, Canada, Britain, other allies actually helped prepare the Ukrainians, ”Kirby quoted the TV channel as saying.

    As military experts and analysts had previously assumed, Ukraine would have brought down all its military power on the Donbass in any case, but Russia was the first to come to the aid of Donyuass.

    The world is watching. The world sees. Lies are dying.

  8. Alex

    May 12, 2022 at 10:20 am

    OK. In Ukraine, 10,000 Russian and 1,000 Russian tanks are destroyed every day. It’s not even funny to read, but it’s not interesting anymore. Let’s talk about the collapsed Russian economy:

    The Russian ruble has become the best world currency in 2022. On Thursday, May 12, Bloomberg reported.

    According to the latest data, the ruble has grown by 11 percent against the dollar since the beginning of 2022. Thus, it has become the leader among the 31 major currencies monitored by the agency’s experts.

    The strengthening of the currency came after the measures taken by the Russian government against the backdrop of Western sanctions, writes Bloomberg. It is clarified that the authorities introduced capital controls, and also obliged exporters to sell foreign exchange earnings. In particular, in March, the President of Russia announced a new procedure for paying for gas by European consumers.

    As similar examples, the authors of the article cite the Turkish lira and the Argentine peso, which failed to achieve maximum growth rates after the decisions of the governments of these countries. The Russian currency, on the contrary, responded well to the measures taken, Bloomberg experts conclude.

    Only facts, not squeals and fantasies of Bandera Nazis and Slavophobes.

  9. Alex

    May 12, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Russia’s oil revenues have grown by 50% since the beginning of the year, despite trade restrictions imposed after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, writes Bloomberg citing a report by the International Energy Agency.

    “Russia has earned approximately $20 billion monthly since the beginning of 2022 from cumulative sales of oil and petroleum products at an export level of 8 million barrels per day,” the document says. As the IEA noted, supplies from Russia continue to flow despite the fact that the EU is currently discussing a ban on energy imports, and major international oil companies Shell and Total Energy promise to stop purchases.

    Russian energy resources are in high demand in Asia, especially in India and China. Experts emphasize that the reduction in the supply of refined products from Russia, such as diesel fuel, fuel oil and naphtha, has exacerbated tensions on world markets. At the same time, stocks of so-called middle distillates (some types of petroleum products that are obtained as a result of the distillation of hydrocarbons, including heating and marine fuels) are at their lowest level since 2008.

    Another collapse of the Russian economy. I am sure that in Russia they clap and thank you.

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