Military Knowledge: Lancet-3 Suicide Drone

Thursday 17 March 2022 - 11:18

Review of Lancet-3 loitering munition; the Russian Flying Kalashnikov!

Lancet-3 loitering munition is a Russian drone made by the ZALA AERO GROUP. Since 2004 ZALA AERO GROUP is the leading Russian developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial systems, unique payloads and mobile systems. Starting from January 2015, the Zala Aero Group became a subsidiary of the famous Russian arms company Kalashnikov. Hence, the Lancet-3 is also known as the Flying Kalashnikov.

ZALA AERO GROUP has recently developed the Lancet-3 loitering munition, And its seems the drone was inspired and modeled on other competitors.

The Zala Lancet drone was announced in late June 2019 at the Russian Army Expo exhibition with the development trials already being completed. The Lancet attack drones were deployed successfully by the Russian Armed Forces in Syria targeting Idlib militants in November 2020.

A loitering munition (or suicide drone) is a weapon that loiters around the target area for some time and attacks only once a target is located. This process can be self-reliant based on artificial intelligence or based on target approval by the operator. Loitering munitions enable faster reaction times against concealed or hidden targets that emerge for short periods without placing high-value platforms close to the target area, and also allow more selective targeting as the attack can easily be aborted. Loitering munitions fit in the niche between cruise missiles and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), sharing characteristics with both. They differ from cruise missiles in that they are designed to loiter for a relatively long time around the target area, and from UCAVs in that a loitering munition is intended to be expended in an attack and has a built-in warhead.

Video published by ZALA AERO GROUP on performance of the Lancet-3 suicide drone

The Lancet-3 suicide drone appears to have been modeled on the Israeli regime’s Hero family drone. Lancet-3 offers the ability to hunt targets with a range of 40 km with the ability to confirm the target before hitting. In this method, through the data link, the images of the drone electro-optical system are transmitted to the operator and the operator, after confirming the target, gives the order to engage.

The warhead fuse of this drone is of the proximity type in order to increase its effectiveness against soft targets such as tents, gatherings of enemy personnel, etc. This fuse is activated before the weapon hits the target.

According to information released by the manufacturer of this drone, the built-in laser protection device embedded in the Lancet-3 drone can effectively resist the laser weapons which are used to shoot down drones. Lancet-3 uses dual X-shaped tail design that increases its stability and maneuverability based on aerodynamic principles. This design has also helped to reduce the size of the drone effectively.

Kalashnikov’s promotional video of the Lancet-3 drone

The Lancet-3 drone weighs 12 kg and is easily portable. Also, the maximum amount of cargo (warhead) carried by this drone is 3 kg. The Lancet-3 drone can fly for 40 minutes at a speed of 110-180 km / h.

The previous version of this drone, the Lancet-1, weighs 5 kg with a payload of 1 kg and a flight time of 30 minutes and smaller dimensions. Comparing the Lancet-3 and Lancet-1 drones, it can be seen that the new version has a much better offensive capability.

The drone uses an electric motor to operate at the lowest noise level. This type of electric motor uses for surprise attacks and this method has a significant psychological effect on the enemy. Lancet-3 is launched from a catapult. The drone has no provision for landing as it is designed to self-destruct when it hits enemy targets. The drone is also capable of crashing into enemy drones.

It should be noted that Lancet-3 has earned the nom La Guerre “flying Kalashnikov” (or flying AK-47) for its simplicity, usability, and reliability.

Read more: Testing of a new Russian suicide drone in Syria

Lancet-3 suicide drone specifications:Length: ~ 1.65 m
Wingspans: ~ 1 m
Weight: 12 kg
Maximum payload weight: 3 kg
Endurance: 40 minutes
Service ceiling: ~ 5000 m
Speed: 80-110 km/h
Impact speed: 300 km/h
Engine: Electric
Origin: Russia

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Lancet-3 Suicide Drone ” collection of posters in Persian, Arabic, Kurdish, Azeri, Russian for Social Media:

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