Baguette-sized flying bombs are about to enter service in Ukraine

Featured in The Economist

War in Ukraine


Switchblade, as the loitering munition in question is known, is subtler. The version most likely to be delivered (though no one will confirm this) weighs but 2.5kg, yet has a range of 10km. Though it cannot penetrate tank armour, its grenade-sized warhead is effective against unarmoured vehicles and groups of troops. That, as Nick Reynolds, an analyst at RUSI, a British defence think-tank, observes, means they can be used in particular against artillery batteries, whether of guns or rocket launchers—which are “softer” targets than tanks. This may be increasingly important as Ukraine’s cities are subjected to heavy artillery bombardment.