As part of Friday's $2 billion U.S. military aid to Ukraine are drones such as the Altius 600 and JUMP 20 that could be a potential game-changer in the war with Russia.
The Altius 600 can be tube-launched from the air or ground as a loitering munition while the JUMP 20 can launch a Switchblade Kamikaze drone from a distance. Attack drones that can be launched from a stand-off distance is a capability that Ukraine has been crying out for since the start of the war.
According to its manufacturer, U.S. based, Aera I, the Altius 600 offers "a variety of sensor and payload packages to support ISR&T, SIGNINT, EW and Communications Relay use cases. For kinetic strikes, ALTIUS-M offers multiple seeker and warhead options to meet the tactical mission."
The Altius 600 is integrated with Black Hawk helicopters to be launched via a tube mounted on the side of the helicopter, similar to a missile or a rocket.
Significantly Ukraine has recently received UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, the number of which is unknown. Images appearing in various media- Ukrainian and Western-have said the UH-60 is intended to replace Ukraine's Soviet-era helicopters, a significant number of which have been destroyed in the year-long war.
The Altius 600 has a range of 440 km and endurance of 4 plus hours which its manufacturer claims is twice what competing drone systems offer.
Other drones that will be delivered to Ukraine for the first time are:
JUMP 20 UAS: Built by AeroVironment, The U.S.Army selected the JUMP20 medium UAS for Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Program Increment 1 last year. The JUMP 20 is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), fixed-wing UAV used to provide multi-sensor intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) services.
Delivering 14+ hours of endurance and an operational range of 185 km the JUMP 20 is the system is runway independent and can be set up and operational in less than 60 minutes without the need for launch or recovery equipment. With a payload capacity of up to 30 pounds, the JUMP 20 offers high definition imaging sensors.
CyberLux K8 UAS: CyberLux is a provider of small quadcopter unmanned systems. These soldier-launched systems have cameras and sensors that provide battlefield intelligence from small spaces such as buildings and back alleys.