TechUkrainian army gets creative with 'F-16' kamikaze drones amidst anticipation of American aircraft

Ukrainian army gets creative with 'F‑16' kamikaze drones amidst anticipation of American aircraft

Ukrainian "F-16"
Ukrainian "F-16"
Images source: © X | OSINT Technical

2:40 PM EST, February 18, 2024

At present, there are no American F-16s in Ukraine. Even though some reports suggest that these aircraft are already carrying out combat missions, they are not currently stationed at Ukrainian airfields. However, this could change shortly; Lithuania's Defense Minister, Arvydas Anušauskas, recently stated the F-16s would arrive in Ukraine in a few months, notably in June.

While awaiting Western support, Ukrainians have once again demonstrated their creativity by naming a locally made kamikaze drone as their "F-16." Both sides of the ongoing conflict widely use this kamikaze drone, a popular weapon they also christen as the "Flying RPG." As per a comment on OSINT Technical’s X post, the drone is equipped with a PG-7M missile.

Kamikaze drones in Ukraine

It's worth reminding that drones have long presented a significantly cheaper alternative to costly artillery shells for Ukrainians, which the army is still facing a shortage. Smaller unmanned aircraft (FPV type) often carry small bombs or grenades. Additionally, Ukrainians use much larger structures capable of carrying heavy payloads up to a weight of even 44 lbs.

This weapon type consistently appears on the front lines. A few weeks ago, the Ukrainian army showcased a DJI Agras T30 drone with a 0.3-inch calibre machine gun and a Bullspike-AT grenade launcher.

The latest Ukrainian "F-16" showcases a fundamental design with a standard anti-tank PG-7M missile of 1.57 inches calibre.

The photo from Ukraine depicts a weapon that features a fragmenting warhead capable of penetrating armour as thick as 10.2 inches. It also displays a crucial element that elucidates how most Ukrainian kamikaze drones function.

The blue component at the top of the drone is a battery pack that enables the drone to transport the suspended missile over a certain distance. Worth noting in the front part are the vibrant wires. Upon making contact at impact, an immediate explosion ensues. This simple structure allows for the transportation of explosives to a specified location while ensuring that there is no premature detonation during flight.

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