Research, Technology

Drones-kamikaze "Cube" and "Lancet" - deadly weapons of the XXI century

We have previously mentioned that the term“drone” includes several types of different aircraft. The so-called kamikaze drones, or loitering projectiles, deserve special attention. They are disposable devices that fly to a given point, and when they reach the target, they hit it with an integrated ammunition. The most famous drones of this type are the American Switchblade loitering projectiles. Not so long ago, similar UAVs appeared in Russia, and have even been used in real combat operations. We are talking about the developments of the company ZALA AERO - "Cube" and "Lancet". Next, we will consider what this weapon is, what functions it has and for what purposes it is intended.

Russian shock kamikaze drone "Cube"


  • 1 Attack drone “Cube-BLAH”
    • 1.1 Technical characteristics and capabilities of the UAV "Cube"
  • 2 Kamikaze drone “ZALA Lancet”
    • 2.1 Specifications and capabilities of the Lancet kamikaze drone
  • 3 Drone production is under threat?

Attack drone “Cube-BLAH”

"Cube-BLAH" is a percussiona small-sized aircraft is a modern intelligent high-precision weapon. ZALA AERO, which is part of the Kalashnikov concern, first introduced it in 2019 at the IDEX 2019 international exhibition in the United Arab Emirates.

"Cube" is designed to defeat remoteground targets. It can be guided by coordinates or in manual mode using a video channel and a guidance system. In addition, the video channel can be used for reconnaissance before striking with a high-explosive warhead.

Launch of the unmanned aerial vehicle "Cube"

Technical characteristics and capabilities of the UAV "Cube"

"Cube" has relatively small dimensions -1210x950x165 mm. The drone can stay in the air for about 30 minutes. The speed of the drone is 80-130 km/h. According to the concern, among the advantages of the device are a hidden launch, high accuracy, as well as noiselessness and ease of use.

The device is made according to the “flying wing” scheme.In the tail section there is a pusher propeller, which is driven by an electric motor. Once launched, the drone, like the American Switchblade, is able to barrage in the air, for example, waiting for the target to come out of cover. The drone then attacks with a vertical dive.

Thus, the device can even hit tanks,breaking through the tower. According to some reports, the KUB-E modification also has other abilities. For example, it can parachute down and explode when an enemy approaches it. In addition, if necessary, the drone can self-destruct.

The body of the drone is made of materials that do not reflect the radio signal.

Among other advantages, it is difficult to detect anddestruction by modern air defense systems. The fact is that kamikaze drones not only have small dimensions, but are also made of materials that do not reflect the radio signal. As mentioned above, thanks to the electric motor, they move silently.

Of course, the cost of a loitering projectile is an order of magnitude lower than reusable drones. In the first "Cube" was used in the military conflict in Syria.

Kamikaze UAV “ZALA Lancet”

"Lancet" is another brainchild of the concern"Kalashnikov". The drone, or rather, two drones at once - “Lancet-1” and “Lancet-3” were introduced in 2019 almost immediately after the Cube drone. According to some characteristics, this drone even bypassed foreign analogues.

Russian loitering projectile "Lancet"

The fact is that usually loitering shellsperform according to the classical scheme, similar to aircraft. As a result, they are able to maneuver well on only one axis. This somewhat reduces the drone's ability to attack moving targets. In particular, this drawback is also characteristic of the above-described drone “Cube”.

The engineers of the Kalashnikov concern managed to increasemaneuverability of the aircraft through the use of an X-shaped aerodynamic configuration, which is usually used for missiles. That is, the loitering ammunition "Lancet" has four pairs of wings. By the way, such an aerodynamic scheme is used in such UAVs for the first time.

Specifications and capabilities of the Lancet kamikaze drone

The Lancet drone is launched from the samecatapults, like the Cube drone. Actually, this is where the common features of these combat aircraft end. Even outwardly they are radically different. Thanks to the “two X's”, the Lancet has better maneuverability when diving, and, consequently, higher accuracy. As a result, he is better than his brother in defeating moving targets. In addition, such an aerodynamic scheme made it possible to reduce the dimensions of the device.

Models "Lancet-1" and "Lancet-3" havethe same design and some internal systems. However, they differ in flight range and warhead power. The Lancet-1 is capable of attacking targets within a radius of up to forty kilometers. Its maximum takeoff weight is 5 kg, and the payload weight is 1 kg.

The American Switchblade drone is inferior to the Russian counterpart in terms of maneuverability

The device is able to stay in the air up to - 30 minutes and fly at speeds up to 110 km / h. The Lancet-3 UAV is capable of staying in the air for up to 40 minutes, and its payload mass has been increased to 3 kg.

The ZALA LANZET complex contains three types of systemsguidance - coordinate, optical-electronic and combined. In addition, both models have a television communication channel, which allows the operator to visually observe the defeat of the target. Among other features of the apparatus is the ability to determine coordinates from various sources and objects, so that it does not require satellite navigation systems.

The drone has anti-laser protection, inas a result, even the most modern laser weapons are unable to hit the Lanceta. Therefore, the developers assure that it is almost impossible to intercept or destroy the Lancet.

According to experts, the Lancet UAV is almost impossible to destroy

The most interesting thing is that the drone can be usednot only to destroy various ground targets, including heavy armored vehicles, but also the so-called “air mining”. That is, while patrolling the airspace, they can create an insurmountable obstacle for enemy drones. Finally, we note that the Lancest drones, like the Cube, were used in real combat operations in Syria.

Drone production under threat?

According to the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies andtechnology Ruslan Pukhov, in the drones "Lancest" and "Cube" with a high degree of probability there are imported parts. This can become a serious problem when deploying serial mass production in connection with the imposition of sanctions.

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If in the manufacture of a small batchdrones can still be used parts left in warehouses or obtained semi-legally, then they will not be able to provide mass mass production. As we have already said, there are serious problems with microelectronics in Russia. Chips belong to those products that are not produced in the Russian Federation.