“A modern kamikaze drone, equipped with a powerful explosive, flew straight into the tank, causing irreparable damage to the enemy,” Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said in the Facebook post, sharing the video.
“According to our soldiers, 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,” it added.
It was the first time Ukrainian officials have released video of the US-supplied Switchblade drones in action.
The 44-second long video showed a purportedly Russian tank erupting into a fireball which turns into a thick plume of smoke emanating from the tank, with Star Wars theme music added to the footage.
The video then transitions to show a point-of-view angle of the drone, showing the target field where it focused and blazed down in its direction at a speed where some people were seen sitting atop the tank.
Switchblade drones act as munitions packed with explosives that detonate on contact during an airborne attack.
They have been dubbed ‘kamikaze drones’ in an echo of the tactic employed by Japanese pilots in World War II of loading up warplanes with explosives and flying them directly into Allied warships.
There are two types of Switchblade drone, the 300 and 600 series. The 300 is intended for use against personnel, while the 600 is intended for use against tanks and armored vehicles. It is unclear which - or if both - are being sent to Ukraine.
Both variants are unmanned and seek out targets using onboard sensors and GPS technology.
These drones are part of the White House’s $800m infusion of military aid into Ukraine in March. That aid included 800 additional Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 9,000 anti-tank weapons, 100 tactical drones, and small arms like machine guns and grenade launchers.
It came as general Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) gave its latest update on los3es to the Russian army. It stated that Russia has lost about 29,350 troops since the invasion began till 24 May.
Russia has also lost 1,302 tanks, 3,194 armoured fighting vehicles, 205 aircraft, 170 helicopters, 2,213 motor vehicles and 606 artillery systems, among other losses.