The United States of America will deliver at least 121 of the new Phoenix Ghost tactical unmanned aerial systems to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million assistance package announced by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby.
“This is a drone that had been in development before the invasion, clearly,” Kirby said during an afternoon press briefing. “The Air Force was working this, and in discussions with the Ukrainians about their requirements, we believed that this particular system would very nicely suit their needs, particularly in eastern Ukraine.”
‘This commitment, together with the 18 155mm howitzers announced on April 13, provides enough artillery systems to equip five battalions. The United States has now committed more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration, including approximately $3.4 billion since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion on February 24,’ Kirby said in a statement.
Phoenix Ghost Development
‘The United States also continues to work with its Allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with additional capabilities. The United States will continue to utilize all available tools to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces in the face of Russian aggression,’ he added.
Kirby said he did not have an exact date for when Phoenix Ghost started development.
The latest $800 million arms package for Ukraine includes a unique new item — the Phoenix Ghost tactical drone, a never-before revealed system designed by the US Air Force that will now prove its mettle on the battlefields of Ukraine.
The existence of Phoenix Ghost drones was reported for the first time, however little is known regarding their range or exact characteristics.
“It was developed for a set of requirements that very closely match what the Ukrainians need right now in Donbas,” he said.
Phoenix Ghost Design
The Phoenix Ghost is similar to the Switchblade unmanned systems previously delivered to Ukraine, the official said, in that it is a “one way drone” that is “clearly designed to give a punch” to a number of different types of targets.
Switchblade is more intended for destroying light combat vehicle targets. While the Phoenix Ghost is said to be able to attack medium-class vehicles that are sometimes used to transport many Russian soldiers.
Phoenix Ghost can also take off vertically and can fly for up to 6 hours looking for a target. It can also operate without difficulty at night thanks to the infrared sensor.
The mysterious Phoenix Ghost drone is equipped with a heavier weapon than the Switchblade.
The Ghost of the Phoenix “is a unique kind of plane. It’s a one-way plane that can take down medium armored surface targets,” retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, a member of the Aevex board, told Politico.
AEVEX Aerospace’s role in the design and manufacturing of Phoenix Ghost is also murky.
Phoenix Ghost with other military equipment
The bespoke new drone is only one part of the latest $800 million arms package announced by President Joe Biden today. Also included are:
72 155mm Howitzers and 144,000 artillery rounds
72 Tactical Vehicles to tow 155mm Howitzers
Field equipment and spare parts
The Biden administration has provided about $3.4 billion in security assistance for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24.
An Aerovironment Switchblade, often known as a “kamikaze/suicide drone,” is a tube-launched “loitering munition” that consists of a switchblade that wanders aimlessly in the airspace until charging at its subject. This drone is equipped with recording devices in addition to warheads, allowing it to conduct surveillance in hostile areas.
Drones have proved a pivotal weapon in Ukraine’s resistance against Russian invasion. One Turkish-designed drone, the Bayraktar TB2, has been so successful in launching attacks against Russian tanks and missile bases that when the Armed Forces of Ukraine asked a soldier to write a folk song to rally morale, the soldier rapped about the Turkish drone.