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Ukrainian HIMARS destroys unconventional Russian Lancet launcher

According to a Telegram video published by Sofa Assault Brigade on September 7, 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces operating in the Zaporizhzhia region successfully detected and located an unconventional Russian mobile Lancet launcher. This information was promptly relayed, allowing artillery units to target and destroy the identified vehicle using a guided M30 GLMRS missile launched from an M142 HIMARS.
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Ukrainian HIMARS destroys an unconventional Russian Lancet launcher (Picture source Telegram)

This incident occurred in the Tokmats'kyi district of Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine. The launcher involved in this incident was a Lancet catapult launcher mounted on a civilian trailer towed by a civilian SUV.

As reported by the Army Recognition editorial team on August 31, 2023, there are indications that Russia may be in the developmental stages of a more effective solution from a military point of view, referred to as a 6x6 Multiple Launch Drone System (MLDS) intended for the latest iteration of Lancet kamikaze drones.

The Lancet drone, also known as Item 52/Item 51, is a UAV and loitering munition developed by Russia's Zala Aero Group. It serves for both reconnaissance and strike missions, featuring optical-electronic and TV guidance systems for precise control during the final flight phase. It also integrates modules for intelligence, navigation, and communication, enhancing its operational capabilities. With a range of 40 kilometers and a takeoff weight of 12 kilograms, the drone can deploy various warhead types with accuracy, making it valuable for the Russian military.

Despite its unconventional (and ridiculous) appearance, this cost-effective approach may offer practical advantages. One such advantage is related to mobility and concealment. The use of a civilian car and trailer provides flexibility, allowing the system to blend in with civilian traffic and move discreetly to various locations, potentially useful for covert military operations or unconventional tactics.

Another practical aspect to consider is rapid deployment. Civilian vehicles are readily available and can quickly transport the catapult system to different locations, potentially facilitating swift responses to emerging threats or opportunities. Additionally, utilizing civilian vehicles and trailers might lead to cost savings by eliminating the need for dedicated military transport vehicles.

However, it is important to acknowledge certain limitations associated with this unconventional setup. The most significant limitation pertains to payload capacity and range. Civilian vehicles and trailers lack the ruggedness of purpose-built military systems, which are designed to withstand harsh conditions and combat stress.

Furthermore, the absence of armored protection for the crew and equipment is a notable concern, as demonstrated by the HIMARS strike. Military vehicles typically incorporate armored features to ensure essential protection, whereas civilian setups may lack this, making them potentially vulnerable to attacks.

The M142 HIMARS is a highly mobile artillery rocket system developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States Army, which was employed in this operation. It is known for its accuracy and extended range, carrying a single launch pod containing either six M30 guided rockets or one Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile.

The M30 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), also known as the GMLRS Unitary Rocket, serves as the primary munition for the M142 HIMARS. The M30 relies on GPS guidance, providing it with a high degree of accuracy, with a circular error probable (CEP) of less than 5 meters under ideal conditions. This precision allows it to reliably strike near its intended target.

Equipped with a unitary warhead, the M30 delivers a single, powerful strike instead of dispersing submunitions over a wide area, making it suitable for missions that prioritize minimal collateral damage. The M30 boasts a maximum range of approximately 70 kilometers, although specific mission parameters and conditions may cause variations. Its long-range capability, combined with its accuracy and powerful warhead, makes the M30 effective for precision strikes against high-value targets, including enemy artillery, command and control centers, and critical infrastructure.


Himars vs Lancet 925 002

A Russian Lancet launched from this system (Picture source Telegram) 


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