The United States has trained a small number of Ukrainians who are already in the US on how to use advanced anti-tank Switchblade drones, a senior US defence official says.
The weapon, which can fit into a backpack, has the ability to “loiter” over a target miles away from the operator. They are often called “kamikaze” drones, because of the way they smash into their target, bearing a warhead at their tip.
The Ukrainians being trained were participating in professional military education programmes, the official said, and they may receive more training on other systems before returning to Ukraine “relatively soon”.
Switchblade drones are new to the Ukrainian military. The White House said on 16 March it would supply 100 Switchblade drones to Ukraine.
It is currently taking an average of 4-6 days for the shipments to start arriving in Ukraine, said an official, describing it as incredibly fast.
The US official also said that overall, Russia had launched 1,450 missiles into Ukraine since the invasion began.