Ukraine's Sokil-300 drone. Photo: Dreddua/Wikimedia Commons/cc4.0
Ukraine’s special operations force has unveiled a fleet of indigenous “Punisher” stealth attack drones.
The catapult-launched electric vehicle carries three powerful munitions capable of damaging military vehicles within a radius of 50 meters (164 feet).
At 2.28 meters (7.5 feet) wide, the unmanned aerial vehicle can fly up to 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) at a maximum altitude of 396 meters (1,300 feet) controlled by a ground pilot with a laptop computer, The Sun reported.
Flies Alongside Reconnaissance Drone
The aircraft has a maximum speed of 125 miles (201 kilometers) per hour and releases its explosive immediately after it locks on target. The British daily added that the munition can be preset to either burst into shrapnel or a ball of fire.
The Punisher flies alongside a smaller reconnaissance drone, the Spectre, which helps it identify targets.
“This weapon’s power is its stealth capability,” Engineer Eugene Bulatsev told The Sun.
Deployed Against Rebels Since 2016
According to the manufacturer, the drone has been deployed against the country’s pro-Russian rebels since 2016, executing “hundreds” of successful missions.
“It has been causing havoc behind pro-Russian lines on Donbas for years because the enemy has no idea what has hit them.
“It’s relatively small and light enough to be undetectable to radar and you can’t see or hear it once it’s airborne which makes it a nightmare on the battlefield.
“What’s more, it can drop three bombs at a time or hit three separate targets then return to base to be reloaded and sent back into battle within minutes.”
Editor’s note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly said Ukraine deployed these drones against Russia.