Rare Ukraine Footage May Show Moment US Switchblade Strikes Russian Buk

Switchblade Drone Strike: New footage appears to show a U.S.-made Switchblade drone targeting a Russian Buk-M2 air defense system in eastern Ukraine, specifically near the Russian-held city of Dokuchaievsk.

Reconnaissance and Strike: The video, posted by the Ukrainian Come Back Alive foundation, shows a reconnaissance drone locating the Buk-M2 system. A Switchblade drone then approaches and seemingly detonates, resulting in smoke and flames around the Russian equipment.

Scarce Footage: Despite Ukrainian troops using Switchblade drones against Russian forces since mid-2022, footage of these loitering munitions in action has been relatively rare compared to other military equipment.

Verification: Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry and Come Back Alive for comments and could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Diverse Drone Aid: The U.S. has provided various drones to Ukraine, including the Switchblade 300 and the larger Switchblade 600, as part of military aid packages, though the exact number of Switchblades sent remains unspecified.

Drone Characteristics: Hambling pointed out that the munition in the clip is slow-moving, small, and lacks obvious wings, suggesting it might be a different type of drone, not the winged Switchblade 600 known for its high-speed approach.

Importance of Switchblade 600: AeroVironment's Charlie Dean highlighted the significance of the Switchblade 600 in Ukraine s defense, noting that while the Switchblade 300 was initially more used, the 600 models were expected to become more prevalent.

Achievement and Vulnerability: Successfully striking the Buk-M2 with a small drone underscores the vulnerability of expensive air defense systems to smaller, cost-effective drones, illustrating a significant tactical achievement for Ukraine.

Ongoing Drone Warfare: The incident exemplifies the evolving nature of drone warfare in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, showcasing the ongoing strategic adaptations and technological advancements on the battlefield.