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Ukraine Utilizes British QinetiQ Banshee Jet 80 UAVs as Long-Range Kamikaze Drones

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Banshee Jet 80 drone / all photos: UK Navy
Banshee Jet 80 drone / all photos: UK Navy

Great Britain was selecting the best long-range kamikaze drone for Ukraine as early as 2023, considering the battlefield conditions, targets, and significant demand for quantity

The first videos confirming that Ukraine is using QinetiQ Banshee Jet 80+ jet drones for strikes against the enemy have appeared online.

The intention of London to transfer long-range kamikaze drones was officially announced in May 2023.

Read more: Britain to Arm Ukraine with AI Drones Capable of Swarm Attacks

Furthermore, London announced plans to transfer hundreds of such strike UAVs, and the fuselage bears the number "35," indicating that this may be just the beginning of their deployment.

The russians claim that the drone was neutralized in the area of the Novoazovsky district of the Donetsk region, near the border with Russia, approximately 90 km from the current front line.

For the Banshee Jet 80+, such a distance falls well within its capabilities because for this drone in the target version, the operational range is defined at over 100 km. But when it came to the plans for British drones, officials claimed their range to be up to 200 km. Banshee flight time is 45 minutes.

But it's about converting the drone, as in the original, the Banshee Jet 80+ is only a target drone for training calculations of air defense and pilots. And it's entirely possible that some characteristics have changed due to the need to carry a combat payload.

QinetiQ Banshee Jet 80, Defense Express
QinetiQ Banshee Jet 80

In particular, the idea of transferring long-range drones to Ukraine began to be implemented as early as the beginning of 2023. And even then, the talk was about hundreds of such drones, which required affordability and mass production, making the choice of converting target drones quite pragmatic.

Read more: ​The UK to Supply Thousands of Drones as Co-Leader of Major International Capability Coalition for Ukraine