US sends never-before-seen drones to Ukraine. Here’s what we know

CNN's Tom Foreman breaks down the never-before-seen 'phoenix ghost' drone that the US has sent to the Ukrainian military, drawing comparisons to the heavily utilized switchblade drone. #CNN #News


  1. His pessimistic prediction for the eastern part of Ukraine is exactly what was wrongly predicted for the entirety of Ukraine in the early days of the war.
    We were all told Ukraine would fall quickly and that the only way Russia could be defeated was through a multiyear insurgency, “like in Afghanistan”.
    That original (and wrong) pessimism kept the West from giving Ukraine the heavy weapons it needs to defeat Russia until only recently, after Ukraine already proved itself by destroying and expelling all Russian forces from the Kyiv area using very limited resources.
    We are now starting to arm Ukraine to completely defeat and completely expel Russia, which it will do, regardless of this general’s obsolete pessimism.

    1. I am uploading videos of the war on this channel if you want to take a look. I didnt know the war would have lasted this long.

    2. Pessimism and optimism have nothing to do with it. This isn’t some call you make based on a hunch, you do what intelligence dictates you should do.

  2. My mom would love to have one of those. She’s tired of the gophers in her yard…

  3. I’m thinking stealth enhancement(s) and improved infrared detection. The latest self-propelled Russian 152 mm cannon can fire 16 rounds per minute…from 18 miles. If I were a Ukrainian ground pounder, I’d desperately want something to help me deal with this bad puppy., and a radar-evading drone able to see the muzzle flash at distance would do nicely.

    1. I am uploading videos of the war on this channel if you want to take a look. I didnt know the war would have lasted this long.

    2. @Nobody Knows Yeah, and the fact that they littorally bounce from recoil every time the Russians fire the damn thing? No way its 16 a minute. If it is it damn sure wouldn’t be accurate.

    3. @Mr Noodle I wonder if they have stabilization, you know keep the mechanism steady against the rocking motion of the recoil. Not just the barrel, but the autoloader mechanism as well, because while the whole damned thing is still moving the next round is having to go in.

      Ah, it’s just a bunch of overhype anyway, only 12 ever built, and if they actually did deploy any of them to Ukraine they would have been located by satellite imagery already, Big damn system, takes multiple support vehicles, it is NOT an autonomous system like a stand-alone self-propelled gun, by any means.

  4. USA, a leader in technologies, definitely has loads of new high-tech nobody knows about!

    1. @ISubToTheBest History. The first manufactured object to achieve hypersonic flight was the two-stage Bumper rocket, consisting of a WAC Corporal second stage set on top of a V-2 first stage. In February 1949, at White Sands, the rocket reached a speed of 8,288.12 km/h (5,150 mph), or approximately Mach 6.7
      USA did it
      Russia just change it

  5. the phoenix has larger explosive made to take out tanks where the switchblade is best for lighter armed targets like supply trucks and troop carriers.

    1. There’s a gap in our drone line-up for mid-range capability. Previously we only had long and short range capabilities such as the raptor and switch blade. I think that the Phoenix Ghost drone would fill that gap..something akin to the Bayraktar Drone.

    2. @Bucketz Misleading. Thermobaric (aka ‘vacuum bomb’ aka ‘fuel air explosive’) are not allowed for use on civilians. Doing so is a war crime. They’re not ‘pretty normal’. Standard explosives carry both fuel and oxidizer inside. ANFO, for example uses ammonium nitrate to supply oxygen so the fuel oil can burn/conflagrate/explode.

    3. @rasmasyean idk if we can infer a whole lot from the name… unless you see a stinger in the (super) hornet jets 😂

    4. @RechargeableLithium The problem is Russians thermobaric rocket barage launchers. These are unguided and the idea is to do AoE damage to a large area really far away. And that tends to hit “civilians” in the populated areas they are supposedly using them in in order to cause terror and submission of the city.

    5. @rasmasyean The range is 6-12 KM/3.7-7.4 miles. Yes, they’re unguided, but they don’t scatter blindly – they tend to stay in a roughly 300×300 meter area. That’s civilians, not “civilians”, BTW – RU is using them as a terror weapon, as are most of what they’ve launched these past two months.

  6. I think the Ukraine is more and more getting a playfield for new tech to try it out and optimize it. First a lot of countries sent stuff that exceeded the shelf life already, now they send stuff for testing.
    And the Ukrainians are doing the dirty work. It is more a win-win situation between the Ukrainians and the West and a lose-lose situation between Putin and the Russian military.
    Modern warfare is about drones of different types. Expensive stealthy ones with expensive high precision bombs to target anti-air. Drones to fight other drones, simple cheap drones to throw dumb bombs with limited but still good precision.

    1. @Stuart a minion what do you think the Tic Tac incident was. A hypersonic drone the purpose of which to do just that.

    2. @Another Point of View wait, Russia is not the first to use nuclear weapons?? Well thanks Captain Obvious!

    3. I am uploading videos of the war on this channel if you want to take a look. I didnt know the war would have lasted this long.

    4. The Russians has proven to be a sick bears.
      They’ve (Ukranians) proven they can and will fight.
      They are a democratically inclined.
      The need help and weapons, according to Zelensky weapons.

  7. My guess: In addition to recon and a warhead, the drone is fit with a laser designator that will allow the drone to direct laser guided artillery. Until it nears the end of its energy pack, and terminates what ever is left.

    1. laser can be detected. ideally targets are designated by type identification and location and the munitions are allocated these preselected targets.
      this method has the benefit of not being detectable in contrast to being lased.

    2. @Der Zieher An artillery shell needs laser guidance _only_ during the last few seconds of its flight.

  8. It’s specifically made to attack in the night in total darkness, which is the weakest link of the Russian army

    1. That’s what I’m thinking, infa red heat seeking optimized fro night work “ ghost “

    2. Maybe disguise it as a bottle of vodka, which some grunt takes back to his tent and it blows the sh*t out of the entire camp!

  9. I use to be an Ordnance technician in the military, ill tell you this if the US is letting people know what it is then we have much better stuff hidden away. (I was back in 2013, I worked at M.A.G.T.F.T.C 29palms.)

    1. I am uploading videos of the war on this channel if you want to take a look. I didnt know the war would have lasted this long.

  10. Keep in mind that everything that is on the modern battlefield today is because the USA had it first. From nuclear to drones. There’s a lot of stuff that went public only when was needed.

  11. Wait until they decide to deploy the “Leopard” drones. It’s a hexacopter with titanium blades, and solar recharging that deploys to an area of enemy troop concentrations, and has the ability to move on the ground. Once it identifies a troop movement area, it lands, and stalks individual troops. Ambushing them using conventional armor piercing, small caliber rounds. Specifically the FN 5.7×28mm, but with plastic cases to decrease weight. It can commit to edged weapon attacks when in close contact using its titanium rotor blades if needed for self defense. It can sit in hiding for as long as it takes, solar charging from folding solar panels while waiting for targets of opportunity to present themselves. It is completely autonomous, but alerts its operator when targets are identified to ensure that friendly fire incidents don’t occur. They move in packs with separation to avoid artillery, and concentrated fire, and have tactical programing that allows them to not only flank the enemy, but surround them, and funnel them into kill zones. It’s the infantry nightmare. The future of warfare is now, and I have no doubt the US will use this conflict to battle test all kinds of nasty things like this. I assure you defense contractors are chomping at the bit to go in, and show off these capabilities to the generals that review defense contracts. It’s the real world test that they can’t conduct at home. This is the apparatus versus hominis that they thirst for to put theory into practice. I guarantee the Russians will scream for babushka, and desert en masse after the first attack is witnessed.

    1. @KAR-EL Not fantastical. Links to all sub-components on my about page. Give me $5,000,000, and I could build a squad of them, and I’m not an engineer. I would also need to acquire proper licensing for weapons production, but I’m clean, and held a clearance in the military, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    2. @Stopes The panels and charging systems are detachable, and stay with four of the rotors so they can charge, and move if approached, or if the Leopard needs to be picked up due to discovery. The two rotors with the Leopard are enough to take it out of immediate danger in short hops. It only carries enough battery for patrol, and returns to main battery to quick charge. If one is compromised it tries SERE, and alerts the others. If it’s infantry, they converge, suppress, flank, and attack. If it’s artillery, armor, or ADA, they bugout, NOE, and SALUTE report. Squads of five per square kilometer. That’s how many fit in a JADM, or GBU-15 equipped casing for airdrop. They aren’t as big as SPOT. Just big enough to carry 200 rounds of plastic cased, armor piercing, FN 5.57 X 28 ammo, and the fire control system. But like I said before this is all supposition.

    3. @raidermaxx23 Maybe in another 8 years. Way too valuable to expose yet. Once AI zooms in 8 years, everyone will have them.

    4. @TheZSquaredMusic That’s admirable, I’ve just upped my fitness regimen myself to try being completely prepared for what’s coming up. Can’t do sword stuff, shoulders are crap from trying to keep up with twenty somethings in the Army.

  12. imagine the amount of damage with a swarm of AI super kamikaze drones would do…. scary wild stuff those things are fast!!

  13. A defense analyst from Janes made a good point at the beginning of this war that the Russians HAVE TO say they are fighting NATO because it justifies their longstanding xenophobia of the West. Right now the Kremlin would probably welcome fighting NATO directly not because they think they could win but because it would be easier for them to justify their failures than admitting they are doing poorly against Ukraine. The Kremlin could then cite historical precedence and say once again an invader from the West has wrongfully attacked mother Russia and inflicted serious losses on them and play up the patriotic angle. So the Kremlin’s endless talk about nuclear escalation is done to reassure its population that it CAN defend Russia against a NATO attack by making it so costly that it wouldn’t be worth winning.

  14. The true definition of madness,” Einstein reportedly said, “is repeating the same action, over and over, hoping for a different result.” Unfortunately, many proposals for ending the war on Ukraine ask the Ukrainians to repeat the same actions they have tried over and over with disastrous results. Those advocating for trying these approaches yet again bear a heavy burden of explaining why this time would be different.

    Many outcomes that may sound plausible to those uninformed about Putin’s history quite rightly look disastrous to Ukrainians. For example, Putin has said he wants a neutral, “demilitarized” Ukraine. Russia had that beginning in 1994, when Ukraine surrendered the nuclear weapons it inherited from the Soviet Union in exchange for guarantees of its existing boundaries from Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

    Rather than allow this neutral, demilitarized Ukraine to live in peace within the longstanding boundaries Russia pledged to guarantee, Putin exploited Ukraine’s weakness to intervene in its politics and fix a presidential election for his deeply corrupt crony. When the Ukrainian people overthrew Putin’s puppet, Putin again took advantage of Ukraine’s weakness by seizing Crimea and a large part of Ukraine’s industrial heartland in the East.

    At some point, outsiders may tell the Ukrainians that they should accept a ceasefire at any price, even if it leaves Russian forces in their country. Ukraine did this after Russian’s 2008 invasion, with the promise of peace talks.

    Russia responded by stalling, shelling unoccupied parts of Ukraine, setting up two corrupt puppet regimes in its occupied territories — one of which shot down a Malaysian civilian airplane — and ultimately disavowing its agreement, to invade yet again.

    Nor are these isolated intrusions. Throughout the region, Russia has repeatedly seized parts of its neighbors’ territory, agreed to a ceasefire, and then continued its occupation without serious negotiations. It has occupied two regions of Georgia and one in Moldova for decades. Ukrainians know these “frozen conflicts” mean an indefinite loss of sovereignty, the indefinite subjugation of Ukrainians to Russian misrule, and a constant source of instability draining the country’s human and financial resources.

  15. 0:33 The 600 isn’t carried in a backpack. You’re describing the 300.

    But I do hope the ghost is similar to the 600. Because the 600 can takeout tanks and other armored vehicles.

  16. As the name “ghost”, I suspect it has stealth technology to avoid detection in some way.

    1. No. It was a ghost project flying stealthy under the radar of project accountability. In other words, stealth funds of the Pentagon to develop new things that the public shouldn’t know about. The B2 was also a stealthy ghost project, only much much bigger.

  17. Let me break this down. “Well Mary we don’t know anything”. “ thanks Tom another brilliant analysis”.

  18. While I’m in favor of Ukraine’s survival and sovereignty I am unsure of the many factions that may get ahold of advanced weapon systems. Hopefully the tech or the actual drones won’t make their way down the illicit pipeline to our enemies, and not explode.

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