Russia engages Kub and Lancet kamikaze drones in Ukraine

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS-DEFENSE/. Russian Kub and Lancet kamikaze drones are actively engaged in Ukraine, Rostec said: “Kub and Lancet successfully perform in combat operations. They are fast, silent, easy to operate, fly dozens of kilometers and enjoy a high precision,” it said.
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Zala Aero "Lancet" unveiled at Army 2019 defense exhibition near Moscow (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The drones are used to destroy distant ground targets. Lancet is highly autonomous and carries an optical-electronic sight that finds the target and destroys it.

Kub was designed by Zala Aero company of the Kalashnikov Group. It weighs 3 kg and the maximum endurance is 30 minutes. The speed is 130 km/h. The loitering munition successfully passed acceptance trials in November 2021. Batch supplies to the army are to begin in 2022.

Lancet was also designed by Zala Aero. It has several guidance systems by coordinates, optical-electronic systems, and combined. The drone has a video communication channel to transmit target images and confirm successful destruction. It can destroy targets in a radius of 40 km. The maximum takeoff weight is 12 kg.


Comments from Army Recognition:
Lancet loitering munition

The Lancet comprises reconnaissance, communications, navigation, and strike components. Compared to the Kub-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 Kub-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.

Kub-E loitering munition was developed by Zala Aero (part of the Kalashnikov group of companies) and it successfully passed state tests in November 2021. In 2022, its serial supply to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is planned.

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Zala Aero "Lancet" unveiled at Army 2019 defense exhibition near Moscow (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Kub loitering munition

On December 21, 2021, Army Recognition already reported that serial supplies of the new Kub-BLA loitering drone developed by the Zala Aero company (part of the Kalashnikov Group) could begin in 2022. The company’s press office said: “The new strike drone has been recommended for acceptance into service. The serial supplies are expected to begin in 2022”.

According to the developer, the UAV has high accuracy, can be covertly launched, it is virtually silent and easy to operate. “This system represents a step to completely new conduct of operations”, said Rostec’s CEO Sergey Chemezov at IDEX 2019, when the Kub-BLA was unveiled. “The high-precision drone comes within 30 minutes at a speed of 130 km/h. The shell is delivered to the target by the complex regardless of terrain or whether the target is concealed or not, both at low and high attitudes It is an extremely accurate and efficient weapon being very hard to combat by traditional air defense systems.”

According to the press office, the Kub-BLA is multipurpose and can be used as part of a swarm of drones. It can reach 80 to 130 km/h. Its flight duration is 30 minutes and its maximum payload is 3 kg. After the launch, the drone can loiter in the air to detect a target and then attack it from the upper hemisphere, being able to perform a diving pass along the vertical trajectory. This allows it to attack tanks in the field from the upper hemisphere, piercing the turret that has minimal armor protection in the upper part.