The Pentagon says the Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial system was primarily designed to engage targets.
United States has details revealed of his latest military aid package to be used by Ukrainian forces in the east of the country after Russian forces launched a large-scale offensive in the region this week.
The new $800 million assistance package includes a new unmanned aerial weapons system, or drone, dubbed the Phoenix Ghost.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the drones, which are produced by a US company, Aevex Aerospace, are particularly suited to fighting in eastern Ukraine, in the flat, open terrain of the region known as Donbas.
“Without going into the specs, but the kinds of things this drone can do lend themselves well to this particular type of terrain,” Kirby told reporters Thursday.
“I think I’m going to leave it at that. But its purpose is similar to that of the Switchblade… which is basically a one-way drone, an attack drone. And that’s essentially what it’s designed to do.”
drone such as the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and the American-made Switchblade have so far played a key role in defending Ukrainian forces against Russian invasion.
Not much else is known about the Phoenix Ghost drones, including their range and precise capabilities.
Kirby, however, said the drones, which have not yet been delivered to Ukraine, are equipped with cameras on board.
“It can also be used to give you a visual image of what you’re looking at, of course. But his main focus is attack,” he said.
He added that the systems had been in development since before Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine on February 24.
“But we will continue to push that development in a way that is in tune with Ukraine’s requirements for unmanned aerial systems of a tactical nature in eastern Ukraine,” he added.
The Pentagon said training for the Ghost drones would be similar to training on the Switchblade, but did not reveal any details about training plans or say how many Ukrainians would be trained on the new system.