US will deliver over 100 custom-designed drones to Ukraine

Washington DC - The US is sending a new unmanned aerial weapons system to Ukraine which it says fits the needs of the Ukrainian military.

A Phoenix drone flying during maneuvers at the Fallen Naval Air Station in Nevada.
A Phoenix drone flying during maneuvers at the Fallen Naval Air Station in Nevada.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

The Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial System is a drone system developed by the Air Force, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby explained Thursday.

More than 120 of these new drones are set to be shipped to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million US government military aid pact to help Ukraine fight off Russia's invasion.

The development of the Phoenix Ghost drone system had already started before the Ukraine war break out, Kirby explained.

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The Phoenix Ghost system, he said, will likely require minimal training for Ukrainian users who are already experienced in operating other, similar equipment like Switchblade drones.

The Switchblades are mini-drones which initially launch without a target. They can then circle the ground for a long time, waiting for a target to attack. Then they self-destruct.

The Phoenix Ghost system "provides similar capabilities to the Switchblade series of unmanned systems – similar capabilities, but not exact," Kirby said.

But he was not willing to go into details.

The Pentagon would be "working through training requirements directly with the Ukrainian Armed Forces," he added.

So far, the US has offered Ukraine eight drawdown packages of security assistance.

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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