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Ukraine unveils new kamikaze drone with a design similar to Russian Lancet.

| Defense News Army 2024

On April 15, 2024, during Defense Industry Workers' Day, a new drone model was unveiled in the presence of President Volodymyr Zelensky, as reported by Militarnyi. The drone, whose name remains confidential, is designed to target both ground and aerial targets at operational and tactical distances exceeding 100 kilometers, serving as an analog to the Russian Lancet drone.
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An unidentified drone with an X-shaped fuselage in April 2024 (Picture source: Militarnyi)

The drone is already operational on the front lines against Russian forces and has proven its effectiveness by successfully destroying a Russian anti-aircraft missile system. This new weapon is considered an efficient means of neutralizing ground and air targets due to its speed and substantial payload.

The drone features an X-shaped fuselage that enhances its maneuverability, allowing it to hit both mobile and stationary targets along various trajectories. It is powered by an electric motor and launched using a catapult, which simplifies its deployment. Depending on the mission, it can be equipped with a warhead weighing up to 3 kilograms, available in fragmentation, thermobaric, or armor-piercing versions. The latter can penetrate up to 40 mm of armor, inflicting significant damage.

The new Ukrainian loitering munition is armed with an explosive warhead that can be used to destroy fortifications or combat armored vehicles. Its detonation is triggered either by collision or when proximate to an object, via a signal from the operator's remote control. This technology is capable of destroying the fuselage of enemy aircraft, effectively downing them.

The primary targets of this drone are vehicles moving at speeds under 130 km/h, including Russian drones such as the Orlan-10 and Zala Lancet. Theoretically, it could also engage helicopters following opposing trajectories.

This system is supported by a repeater drone that works in tandem with the barrage munition to locate and track targets, prepare strikes, and assess the outcomes. Thanks to the repeater, long-distance communication is enhanced, allowing the operator to maintain control and video transmission unaffected by the "radio horizon."

This unmanned system also incorporates an "industrial vision" system that enables automatic detection and targeting of objects, even in environments with strong electronic warfare interference. These innovations are actively being used in the field, demonstrating their effectiveness in real combat situations.

Although the cost of this advanced system has not been officially disclosed, it is indicated to be comparable to that of other operational and tactical drones used by Ukraine. In August 2023, the Ukrainian defense-industrial complex announced the development of a new Perun loitering munition, also similar to the Russian Lancet.

Defense News April 2024

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