The Armed Forces of Ukraine may face new problems over the upgraded Russian unmanned aerial vehicle Lancet, Forbes observer David Axe said. Pravda.Ru turned to military experts to ask them about the features of the modernised Russian drone.
The Russian Lancet UAV has been upgraded to the range of up to 45 miles (about 70 kilometres), David Axe noted.
“Bad news for the scrappy Ukrainian air force. An explosives-laden Russian drone struck and damaged an air force Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter on the tarmac at Dolgintsevo air base near Kryvyi Rih on or before Tuesday," Axe wrotein his article for Forbes Magazine.
The attack could be a debut of the modernised Lancet – one of the most effective kamikaze drones. A second drone was observing the Lancet attack from above. The observer concluded that the Ukrainian air defence system was not working at the time of the attack.
Kyiv will now need to use airfields far from the line of combat contact and look for new ways to protect its aircraft, the article also said.
“The main feature of the Lancet is its aerodynamic characteristics. Good aerodynamic performance, noise immunity, manoeuvrability and a warhead. As far as I know, since the beginning of the special military operation, the warhead was not powerful enough to penetrate the armour of Western military hardware," Igor Gerasimov, security expert and military analyst told Pravda.Ru.
Due to its technical features, the UAV can hit virtually any type of weapon, Gerasimov said.
The Lancet can hit aircraft, tanks, infantry vehicles, artillery pieces, and conventional lightly armoured vehicles. It all depends on how much of this modification the drone carries, but this weapon is not designed to annihilate the infantry,” Igor Gerasimov said.
“This is a well-known UAV that can be used efficiently against all moving targets. The Lancet can operate quickly. The operator launches the drone and then can see it on his screen. A special reconnaissance aircraft or a quadcopter transmits visualisation to the operator and help him detect and destroy the target," Vladimir Popov, Major General, Honoured Military Pilot of Russia told Pravda.Ru.
The Lancet has its own 'eyes' to detect the target and transmit information about it to the control unit of drone operators.
"The operator has a screen that shows the picture from the side of the reconnaissance aircraft or reconnaissance drone or quadcopter, and the second screen shows what the drone sees. This system works in concert until the drone hits the target and explodes,” the specialist explained.
All experts that Pravda.Ru interviewed said that the Russian Lancet UAV had no analogue on Western arms markets.
“There are no such analogues yet. They have some different models, but they are still very expensive. Iranian UAVs are also good, we have adapted them to our needs and we also produce and jointly use their devices,” Vladimir Popov said.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now