How much Switchblade drones will cost US in pledge to help Ukraine

Shania Wilson March 17, 2022
How much Switchblade drones will cost US in pledge to help Ukraine
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

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The Biden administration is set to provide Ukraine with US-made drones in an effort to support the country as it fights off the ongoing Russian invasion, NBC News reports. From the arsenal of support listed, so-called Switchblade drones have caught the public’s eye in particular.

Made by AeroVironment, as per Bloomberg, the Switchblade drone is less than 24in (61cm) long and weighs about 6lb (2.7kg). Military officials have described it as a “flying shotgun”.

Here’s what you need to know about the weapon, including how much each Switchblade drone will cost the US.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
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US pledges to help Ukraine with Switchblade drones

The US has reportedly pledged to send Ukraine an expanded arsenal, including 100 armed drones that can “fit in a rucksack” to help the country fend off the ongoing Russian invasion.

Announcing the military aid package on Wednesday, 16 March, President Joe Biden said the drones especially demonstrate US “commitment to sending our most cutting-edge systems to Ukraine for its defence”.

As per NBC News, there are two variations of the weapon. The Switchblade 300 is intended for pinpoint strikes on personnel, whereas the Switchblade 600, a larger weapon, serves to destroy tanks. Officials didn’t make it clear whether the 300, 600 or both would be provided to Ukraine.

The same outlet explains the Switchblade drones are equipped with cameras, guidance systems and explosives. 

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Photo by Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

How much each Switchblade drone will cost the US

The US is set to send at least 100 Switchblade drones as part of its announced $800 million Ukraine aid package. And, according to NBC News, each drone can cost $6,000.

The weapons are single-use. However, as noted by the same outlet, the Switchblade drones are much cheaper than US Reaper drones, which are not single-use.

Given this information, US efforts to help Ukraine by providing Switchblade drones will cost anywhere upwards of $600,000.

How do the weapons work?

The US-made Switchblade drones can be set up in minutes and launched via tubes from the ground. Programmed to automatically strike targets miles away, the 600 can reportedly fly for 40 minutes and up to 50 miles.

The Switchblade drones are also expected to fly faster than the drones Ukraine has currently been using, Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones, NBC reports.

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Shania is a Magazine Journalism graduate from the University of Derby. Her main passion is rooted in print journalism, however, she also branches out towards social media and is also interested in public relations. Outside of writing, Shania enjoys using social media, reading, and drinking coffee.