KEY POINTS

  • The video was shared on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Armed Forces
  • The footage was recorded by the Switchblade's handheld control unit
  • The drone may have killed the soldiers atop the Russian main battle tank

A video released by the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces has shown its troops using a U.S.-supplied Switchblade suicide drone to blow up a Russian tank. The footage was recorded by the Switchblade's handheld control unit.

The video shows a stationary Russian tank at an undisclosed location in the middle of a field. As the suicide drone moves forward, the tank comes into view. The crew members are spotted sitting atop the T-72B3 main battle tank before the video cuts off. The Switchblade then loses its line-of-sight control, and the special autopilot takes over to complete its terminal run, according to The Drive

The footage was shared on the Facebook account of the official Ukrainian Armed Forces with a caption that read, "the Russian occupiers were quietly drinking alcohol at one of the positions, sitting on the armor of their tank." 

"However, the usual Russian occupation was abruptly interrupted by an unexpected attack from the air. A modern kamikaze drone, equipped with a powerful explosive, flew straight into the tank, causing irreparable damage to the enemy. The whole process of destroying the enemy was filmed by a camera located on the killer drone," the post added.

The Switchblade's surveillance capability may have helped the Ukrainian forces locate the men, especially due to their exposed position. It said the attack was intended to eliminate the people rather than the tank.

According to Ukraine Weapon Trackers, though the drone may not have inflicted much damage on the armored tank, the crew sitting atop it might not have survived the attack. It is also unclear when and where the strike happened. 

This isn't the first video showing the Switchblade attack. Earlier this month, another graphic video began doing rounds on social media showing the Switchblade 300 in use against a Russian machine gun position. The video, shared by Ukrainian authorities on Facebook, showed the attack on Russian troops by Ukraine's 53rd Mechanized Brigade. 

Over 700 Switchblade 300s have been sent to Ukraine by the U.S. as part of an $800 million aid package launched in March. The Switchblade loitering munition can take out lighter vehicles and personnel, as evident from the video where the target is the crew positioned atop and around the tank rather than the armor itself. 

According to its makers, the Switchblade 300 can be remotely controlled from a little over six miles away. But, the weapon has a limited endurance of about 10 minutes because of its compact size. 

A destroyed Russian tank Representation. A destroyed Russian tank Photo: AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA