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Russia confirms deployment in Ukraine of new KUB loitering munition able to reach target at 50 km

On April 2, 2024, the Russian defense company Kalashnikov Concern released a video on its Telegram account confirming the deployment of the new KUB loitering munition in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. According to information published by Kalashnikov Concern, the KUB, equipped with an onboard camera, can engage targets at a range of up to 50 km thanks to its advanced targeting system.
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The new KUB loitering munition is now used by Russian forces on the battlefield in Ukraine. (Picture source Video Footage Telegram)

Developed by the Russian company Zala Aero, part of the Kalashnikov Group, this innovative system draws from the Russian military's operational experiences in Syria from 2015 to 2018, embodying the lessons learned in precision, stealth, and simplicity of operation. The KUB loitering munition was unveiled by Zala Aero in February 2019 during the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, marked a significant advancement in the development of loitering munition by the Russian defense industry.

Designed to enhance the Russian Army's capabilities in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and targeted engagement, the KUB discreet profile and silent operation make it a formidable tool against both ground and naval threats. Its unique wide triangular-wing configuration allows for a hidden launch, ensuring it remains undetected until the moment of attack.

The drone's dimensions, with a wingspan of 1.21 meters, a length of 0.95 meters, and a height of just 0.165 meters, facilitate ease of transport and deployment. Equipped with a 3-kilogram warhead, the UAV can engage lightly armored targets, providing a strategic advantage in both reconnaissance and direct engagement roles.

A notable feature of the KUB is its integration of Artificial Intelligence Visual Identification (AIVI) technology, which significantly enhances target recognition and classification capabilities in real-time. This advancement not only increases the drone's operational efficiency by expanding its surveillance area by 60 times but also augments its lethality and autonomy during missions.

Propelled by an electric motor and capable of speeds ranging from 80 to 130 kilometers per hour, the drone's design optimizes endurance and impact. The pusher configuration of the propeller, situated at the UAV's tail, complements its stealth features, enabling a flight duration of up to 30 minutes and a range of approximately 40 kilometers. This combination of stealth, speed, and striking power, bolstered by cutting-edge AI, positions the Zala KUB loitering munition as a key asset in modern military operations, reflecting a blend of innovation and practical combat experience.

Defense News April 2024

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