Pentagon Says US Rapidly Developed New Ghost Drones for Ukraine

The Pentagon won't provide details about the new weapon

The Pentagon said Thursday that the US Air Force has developed a new type of drone for Ukrainian forces, known as the Phoenix Ghost, which was included in a new $800 million weapons package for Ukraine.

“This was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response specifically to Ukrainian requirements,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. The only detail Kirby offered about the Ghosts is that they are similar in capability to Switchblade drones the US has been giving Kyiv.

Switchblades are small drones that are launched out of a tube. They are known as “kamikaze drones” because they explode and can only be used once. “Phoenix Ghost is a tactical, unmanned aerial system … [it] provides similar capabilities to the Switchblade series of unmanned systems — similar capabilities, but not exact,” Kirby told reporters.

The Ghost drones are designed by Aevex Aerospace, a California-based company. When asked about the new weapons by Defense One, an Aevex employee had no comment.

The $800 million weapons package included over 121 Ghost drones. According to Defense One, the US has sent Ukraine more than 700 Switchblade drones since Russia invaded on February 24.

As the Ukrainians are constantly asking for more weapons, they are in talks with US arms maker General Atomics to receive MQ-9 Reaper drones. The Reapers cost about $32 million each, but the US government is expected to foot the bill. “With support from the US government, those aircraft could be in the hands of Ukrainian military pilots in a matter of days,” a General Atomics spokesman said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.