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The Russian ZALA Aero Group will develop the world’s first “air mining” system to destroy hostile UAVs. The group’s Chief designer Alexander Zakharov claims the basis of the new system is the LANCET loitering ammunition. The LANCET said to have a diving speed of 300 km/h to double the one which is usually employed by the existing UAV. Mr. Zakharov displayed a video with the LANCET being launched from a ground launcher as well as from a mobile platform, such as vehicle or boat.

The LANCET is a family of combat drones which has been combat proven by the Russian Special Operations forces in Syria to eliminate important targets. The drones were used in multiple successful attacks recorded by their own cameras. ZALA Aero Group has developed several variants of the Lancet UAV being produced serially.

The LANCET-1 is the smallest family member with maximum take-off weight of 5 kg, including a 1 kg payload. The flight range is up to 40 km, or 30 minutes with a speed between 80-110 km /h. It has a multichannel guidance system and could be equipped with a TV-camera to transmit the target image for hitting confirmation. The drone has a pre-contact type fuse. LANCET-1 made its public debut at Army-2020 but details of the vehicle’s capabilities were only released this month.

Two other ZALA made UAVs are the LANCET-3 and KUB-UAV which have a take-off weight of 12 kg and are capable of carrying a payload of up to 3 kg.

Yury Laskin