Ukraine’s 53rd Mechanized Brigade Releases Switchblade Strike Footage – On May 6, Ukraine’s 53rd Mechanized Brigade released video footage of a Switchblade loitering munition strike on Russian troops.
Little in the way of details were offered in the Facebook post that shared the video, but in it, Russian troops can be seen in what appears to be a trench on Ukrainian territory. The drone strikes the road next to the soldiers, prompting them to run for cover.
Drone footage shows Russian soldiers running to nearby structures with corrugated iron roofs, where they quickly disappear from sight.
The video was accompanied by a message from Colonel Dmitry Titenko, written in Ukrainian.
“Being closest to the enemy, in difficult inhumane conditions, under the fire of enemy artillery, tanks, our infantry confidently advances and firmly holds the defense. It is the infantry who are the first to meet the enemy, get closer and destroy him closely. The infantry put an end to the battle by raising the Flag of Ukraine over the liberated territories,” the message reads, per Google Translate.
The 53rd Mechanized Brigade’s commander also said that the vast majority of losses on the ground are “borne by infantry” and that they pay respect to the “sacrifice of our brothers who gave their lives in the battles of Ukraine.”
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 6, 2022
“Being closest to the enemy, in difficult inhumane conditions, under the fire of enemy artillery, tanks, our infantry confidently advances and firmly holds the defense. It is the infantry who are the first to meet the enemy, get closer and destroy him closely. The infantry put an end to the battle by raising the Flag of Ukraine over the liberated territories,” Titenko added.
What is the Switchblade Drone?
The smaller 300 model is designed to be launched over the shoulder from a tube. The drone can be carried inside of a rucksack by a single soldier. Once in the air, the drone looks for its target and strikes. It is operated from a ground station and is fitted with a camera on its nose
A larger Switchblade 600 model works in a similar way, but is larger and more powerful. The United States is still working to procure the large 600 model for Ukraine.
Top Marine Touts Effectiveness of Switchblades
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger told an audience in Washington, D.C. recently at the Modern Day Marin expo that while traditional artillery systems are limited to ballistic trajectories, loitering munitions like the Switchblade drones can be a “huge” benefit to soldiers.
These so-called “suicide drones” can be deployed ‘all the way down to the squad level” before loitering for up to 45 minutes, Berger said. So far, almost 1,000 Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost drones have been given to Ukraine.
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.