Phoenix Ghost – that’s what the new kamikaze drone can do

Delivery of arms to Ukraine
Phoenix Ghost – that’s what the new kamikaze drone can do

Rendering of the Switchblade drone.


After the Switchblade, the US will deliver another 121 “suicide” drones to Ukraine. The Phoenix Ghost type was previously unknown and is larger and more dangerous than the Switchblade type mini drones.

The United States is already supplying Ukraine with Switchblade kamikaze drones, and now 121 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial systems are being added. What is surprising is that this type of drone was unknown before the announcement. “The Phoenix Ghost was rapidly developed by the Air Force specifically to respond to Ukrainian requirements,” a Pentagon official told reporters. The drone is manufactured by Aevex Aerospace. The program began before the Russian invasion but was then stepped up, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “It was designed for requirements that correspond very closely to what Ukrainians need in Donbass now.”

Ammo hanging around

Phoenix Ghost belongs to the same genus as the Switchblade unmanned system. It is a “disposable drone” that circles over the battlefield and can swoop down on a target. Subject term: Loitering ammunition – HerumAevex does not provide any comment. The company sees itself as a “recognized market leader for airborne reconnaissance solutions” and is considered a specialist in inexpensive lidar positioning systems. The Aevex board, Lieutenant General a. D. David Deptula then. He said the Phoenix Ghost is a different type of aircraft than the Switchblade. “It is a single-use aircraft effective against medium armored ground targets”. This means that it can be used against armored personnel carriers and probably also against main battle tanks, which have far less armor on the top than on the front. She shouldn’t be able to break open bunkers.

The drone is larger than the smaller version of the Switchblade. An infantryman can carry it with him on a march, but that won’t be possible with the Phoenix Ghost. But it has better flight characteristics and a longer range. Phoenix Ghost can fly for more than six hours and can operate at night using its infrared sensors, Deptula said. It is a far more dangerous weapon because it can control the battlefield and attack armored targets for a very long time. With a flight time of six hours, the drone can also be launched without a specific order, in the hope that it will find a suitable target over the long period of use.

Autonomous drone attacks people without orders for the first time

Adoption of civilian technology

It is not surprising that more and more disposable drones are appearing. It is not necessary to develop a disposable drone entirely for the military. It is enough to adapt a civilian development to a military one. An agricultural drone with a payload of more than 20 kilograms does not cost private customers 3000 euros and it can also transport explosives instead of fertilizer. Disposable drones of this type are among the light weapons and also show their advantages here. The instruction should be quick and uncomplicated, at least for people who have experience with piloting drones. Months of training is not necessary. In addition, such systems leave no logistical footprint, they do not require mechanics or service to maintain them in Ukraine. They are delivered in a transport case and are practically ready to use after unpacking. It is therefore possible to send a large number of different systems to the front, even in small numbers, without creating absolute chaos in the logistics.

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