Army 2019: ZALA Aero unveils new loitering munitions
Russia`s ZALA Aero company (a subsidiary of Rostec’s Kalashnikov Group) unveiled a new loitering munition dubbed ZALA Lancet at Army-2019.
ZALA Aero "Lancet" unveiled at Army 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)
The Lancet comprises reconnaissance, communications, navigation, and strike components. Compared to the KYB-UAV drone previously developed by ZALA Aero and unveiled at IDEX 2019, the new munition features a heavier payload. The Lancet is more effective than conventional weapon systems and has a substantially lower price tag, the manufacturer claims.
According to Kalashnikov’s Director General Vladimir Dmitriyev, the Lancet has been fitted with a TV guidance unit that allows an operator to control the munition even on the terminal stage of flight. The new munition features an optical-electronic guidance unit and can be pre-programmed before the flight. According to ZALA Aero, the Lancet has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of up to 12 kg and a combat range of 40 km. The vehicle is fitted with a proximity fuse. The Lancet loitering munition is powered by an electrically-driven push engine with a small-size rotor.
In fact, the Lancet is a family of loitering munitions that comprises two systems, the bigger Lancet-3 and the smaller Lancet-1. The Lancet-3 has already passed through its trials. It weighs 12 kg and carries a 3-kg payload, providing a speed of 80-110 km/h and an endurance of 40 minutes", he said. According to him, the Lancet-1 has the same speed and a smaller MTOW (5 kg), payload (1 kg), and endurance (30 minutes). The use of the Lancet requires no additional pieces of infrastructure.
The Lancets in combat configuration could be fitted with high-explosive (HE) or HE-fragmentation warheads. The weapon seems to be the first known Russian-designed loitering munition.
ZALA Aero has recently begun paying specific attention to the development of unmanned combat systems, the first of which, the KYB-UAV, was unveiled at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi. They are reported to have a drastically smaller price compared to their Israeli- or European-made analogs.