Phoenix Ghost | Key features: US sends secretive, new suicide drone to Ukraine

Updated: May 01, 2022, 05:15 PM(IST)

Reports claim just like the Phoenix Ghost is like the Switchblade drone. It is also a low-cost single-use suicide drone. It is a loitering munition which flies around a target before hitting it.

Phoenix Ghost tactical drones

Several Western countries have provided Ukraine with military aid and weapons since Russia invaded its neighbour on February 24.

Among the offensive weapons which are playing an important role are US-made Javelin missile launchers capable of piercing the most sophisticated armour such as T-90 Russian tanks and Turkish drones.

US President Joe Biden announced on April 21 a new package of $800 million in military aid for Ukraine.

The Pentagon said the newest round of US support will include 72 155mm howitzers, 72 armoured vehicles to tow them, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 120 "Phoenix Ghost" tactical drones recently developed by the US Air Force specifically to address Ukraine's needs.

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Phoenix Ghost like Switchblade drone

The US informed that the drone was in development before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The drone, the US said "nicely suit their needs, particularly in eastern Ukraine".

According to the US, the drone is “akin” to the Switchblade drone which the US has already sent to Ukraine. The key features of the Phoenix Ghost is still under wraps.

It is designed for tactical operations much of how the Ukraine army has been operating for the past two months using search and destroy missions to eliminate Russian tanks and hardware.

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Phoenix Ghost: Loitering munition

The "Phoenix Ghost" with its unmanned aerial systems allows the Army to "watch" targets and attack. Reports claim just like the Switchblade drone, the Phoenix Ghost is also a low-cost single-use suicide drone. It is a loitering munition which flies around a target as it hits the target.

It reportedly requires minimum training so Ukraine's Army can almost easily integrate it and begin attacking Russian targets. The US is still very secretive about the origin and capability of the new attack drone.

Apart from the "Phoenix Ghost", the US is also sending 72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds, 72 tactical vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers and field equipment and spare parts.

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US Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drones for Ukraine

Previously the United States had supplied or promised Ukraine 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, several thousand rifles with ammunition and a range of other equipment.

Kyiv had before the Russian invasion around 20 Bayraktar TB2 drones, built by the Turkish military.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in early March Kyiv had received new drones, which some experts number at 16.

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Turkish drones: How the Moskva was sunk

Kyiv also said a TB2 acted as decoy, distracting the defences of the Russian warship Moskva with a TB2, while it pounded it with missiles on the other side before sinking it last week.

Some experts say that Turkish drones continue to be delivered to Ukraine, something not confirmed by Ankara. The UK which has been one of the main aid supplier to Ukraine amid the war said it has distributed more than 200,000 items so far, including 4,800 NLAW anti-tank missiles, and a small number of Javelin missiles.

It also announced it was sending 6,000 other missiles, consisting of anti-tank and high explosive weapons.

It has also sent Starstreak high-velocity anti-aircraft missiles and according to reports is planning to send Stormer armoured missile launchers, on which Starstreak can be mounted.

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Sky Sabre medium-range missiles for Ukraine

The Boris Johnson government has also vowed to send 120 Mastiff, Wolfhound and Husky armoured vehicles and a new anti-ship missile system.

It has also sent Poland a Sky Sabre medium-range, anti-air missile system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on April 22 the UK is considering sending tanks to Poland so that Warsaw can send its own to Ukrainian forces fighting against Russia.
 

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Canada sends M777 howitzers

Canada has since 2015 committed over $112.6 million for defensive military equipment for Ukraine. Some $118 million of that has come since February 2022.

Since February Ottawa has announced that it is sending defensive military aid, weapons and ammunition, hand grenades, rocket launchers, surveillance and detection equipment.

It has also sent for the first time to Ukraine heavy artillery -- M777 howitzers -- and munitions. It also said it was planning to send armoured vehicles.

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Norway sends French-made Mistral anti-air missiles to Ukraine

Norway has sent 100 French-made Mistral anti-air missiles to Ukraine as well as 4,000 M72 anti-tank weapons. France is sending several heavy artillery pieces to Ukraine, President Emmanuel Macron said.

Sweden announced in late February it would send 5,000 single use anti-tank launchers (internationally known as AT-4), then another 5,000 anti-tank launchers in March, along with demining equipment.

Finland announced in February it would send 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 rounds of ammunition, and 1,500 single use anti-tank launchers. On March 24 the country said it would send another shipment of arms to Ukraine but did not provide specifics of what that would entail.

(Photograph:AFP)

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