Little else is known about the drones, like what their range is or what exact capabilities they have but Pentagon says the drones have similar capabilities as armed "Switchblade" drones.

Ukraine has effectively used Western weapons including Stinger and Javelin missiles along with drones, like the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and US-made Switchblade, to target Russian positions.
Ukraine has effectively used Western weapons including Stinger and Javelin missiles along with drones, like the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and US-made Switchblade, to target Russian positions. (AP)

The so-called "Ghost" drones that are part of a new $800 million US arms package for Ukraine were rapidly developed by the US Air Force for Kiev and have similar capabilities as armed "Switchblade" drones, the Pentagon has said.

"This was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response specifically to Ukrainian requirements," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday.

Little else is known about the drones, like what their range is or what exact capabilities they have.

The White House said earlier on Thursday that over 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems would be provided to Ukraine as part of the new arms package.

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Drones against Russians

After failing to capture the capital Kiev and being forced to withdraw from northern Ukraine, Russian troops regrouped this week to start a new offensive in the two eastern provinces known as the Donbass.

Ukrainian forces have effectively used Western weapons including Stinger and Javelin missiles along with drones, like the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and US-made Switchblade, to target Russian positions.

The drones allow Ukrainian forces to usually be able to strike Russian troops and equipment from the air without necessarily having to be as close to their targets as with some ground-based weapons.

A small number of Ukrainians have been trained in the United States on how to operate the Switchblade drones, single-use weapons that fly into their targets and detonate on impact.

The Ukrainians who went through the training on the Switchblades numbered less than a dozen, the Pentagon has said and had already been in the United States for regular military education programmes prior to Russia's offensive on Ukraine on February 24.

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Source: Reuters