Rostec claims laser weapons cannot destroy Russian Lancet kamikaze drones

The Russian Lancet loitering munition (kamikaze drone) is immune to the latest laser weapons due to its embedded anti-laser protection, Russia’s Rostec state hi-tech corporation wrote on its Telegram channel: “It is almost impossible to intercept and eliminate the Lancet or hide from it. Even the latest laser weapons designed to counter drones are ineffective against this UAV due to its anti-laser protection,” the statement reads.
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Zala Aero "Lancet" unveiled at Army 2019 defense exhibition near Moscow (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The state corporation also said that the Lancet is capable of independently conducting reconnaissance and attacking targets without using satellite navigation.

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 (25 miles). 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 weighs 12 kg and carries a 3-kg payload, providing a speed of 80-110 km/h and an endurance of 40 minutes. 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 can be fitted with high-explosive (HE) or HE-fragmentation warheads. The weapon seems to be the first known Russian-designed loitering munition.