Recently photos surfaced on social media of a roughly four-foot-wide tan, airplane-shaped drone that had fallen out of the sky in the Kyiv region, crashing into the sandy ground.
While that one failed to explode on impact, the images verified by The Washington Post provide some of the first evidence Russia is using a new and terrifying weapon in its war against Ukraine: a killer drone that can dive bomb into targets, destroying them with little notice.
The Russian kamikaze drones, also known as loitering munitions, will soon be joined on the battlefield by ones sent to Ukrainian forces by the United States, making the war the largest direct conflict between two countries in which they’ve been deployed on both sides. Researchers who specialize in the field say it shows that these drones are becoming the norm in modern warfare, and are likely to make the conflict more deadly and unpredictable.
The American version is called Switchblade. Essentially, a 21st Century version of the V1.
Bradley Bowman, a senior director at the hawkish think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said loitering munitions reduce the time it takes to identify, locate and kill a target, and they are hard for an enemy to detect, giving off little heat signature.
“In urban combat,” he said, “where the distances are short and you’re up close and personal with your adversary, closing that kill chain more quickly can be the difference between life and death.”
Please, guys. I know you’re writing these press releases for the ignorant. Press as well as civilian readers. It still makes sense to provide real info about the history of weaponry so folks who are interested get the story straight.