Polish-made Warmate loitering munitions have been spotted with Kiev forces for the first time since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
On April 24, photos showing a Warmate loitering munition being prepared for launch in an unspecified part of Ukraine surfaced online.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine purchased an unknown number of Warmate loitering munitions from Poland a few years ago. After the start of the Russian special military operation, several reports revealed Polish plans to supply Kiev with more loitering munitions of this type.
The Warmate, which was developed by WB Electronics, has a range of 40 kilometers and an endurance of up to 50 minutes. The munition can be armed with a fragmentation, anti-tank or a thermobaric warhead.
The loitering munition relies on a GPS-aided inertial navigation system. For target detection and terminal guidance, the munition is equipped with a fixed electro-optical seeker.
So far, Kiev forces have not released any footage of the Warmate in action. This rises some questions about the effectiveness of the loitering munition.
The US and its allies have been working nonstop to supply Kiev with more loitering munitions. Washington have already committed to supply Kiev forces with hundreds of Switchblade 300 and 600 loitering munitions as well as more than a hundred of a previously-unknown loitering system dubbed the Phoenix Ghost.
Loitering munitions will enable Kiev forces to detect and engage targets with high precision from a relatively long distance. However, the air defense and electronic warfare capabilities of the Russian military will most certainly limit their effectiveness.