Ukraine strikes with Switchblade
In what was apparently the first recorded use of Switchblade in Ukraine, drone video footage released on 6 May by the Ukrainian 53rd Mechanized Brigade showed an attack on a Russian machine gun position.
As reported by Shephard last month, the US has already approved the transfer of Switchblade 300 and extended-range Switchblade 600 loitering munitions to Ukraine as part of lethal aid assistance, and it has also trained Ukrainian soldiers to use them in their defence against the invading Russian forces.
Shephard Defence Insight calculates that Ukraine is receiving a total of 700 Switchblade 300s and ten Switchblade 600s.
Even more hardware for Switchblade loitering munitions will be produced for Ukraine by AeroVironment at its Simi Valley facility in California, the DoD revealed on 6 May.
Work on a $17.9 million contract modification (using FY2022 FMS funding for Ukraine) will be completed by 4 May 2023.
More from Ukraine-Russia News: Technology and Equipment Spotlight
In a new-look Shephard Defence Podcast, the news team discusses the rapidly-evolving situation in Ukraine and latest developments following Russia's unprovoked invasion.
Ukraine could obtain more 155mm howitzers — this time from Italy — as Kyiv seeks to tip the artillery balance against Russia.
Will Germany decide to provide ten medium-range SAM systems to Ukraine?
The Spanish Navy support vessel Reina Isabel returned to its homeport on 13 May after a mission to deliver arms, ammunition and Ukraine — although Kyiv did not receive everything it expected.
It seems appealing to fast-track pilot training by conducting most flights on simulators and omitting certain procedures if the West were to give more modern aircraft for Ukraine’s air force, but it might prove challenging in practice.
The sinking in April of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship, although not evidence of a major change in the naval domain, is a far cry from the pre-emptive scuttling of Ukraine’s own flagship. The donation of increasingly advanced materiel demonstrates increased faith in Ukraine’s ability to resist the Russian invaders.