Russia has made a thermobaric charge UAV with a reset system

The Russian news agency TASS reported that a new kamikaze drone with improved functionalities has already been created in Russia. This is a kamikaze drone with a reset system with a remote activation function. The drone is called Lutik-Kamikadze [Lutik means Buttercup in English] and was designed and created by the Sakhalin Center for Unmanned Technologies.

Russia has made a thermobaric charge UAV with a reset system
Photo credit: Ekaterina Adamova

According to a source that TASS did not name, the drone can be used multiple times. “We used a little trick to make the drone reusable,” the source told TASS. However, it remains to be seen whether this drone is a kamikaze type, as it does not appear to self-detonate when reused.

Most likely, it is a matter of remote activation of the charge dropped by the drone. In this regard, according to TASS, the drone will be able to drop both the RPG-7 explosive warhead and thermobaric ammunition. “We also display contacts so that the detonator can be activated from the battery,” the source said.

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The idea behind such a device lies in the effectiveness of drones used in “special military operations” [this term is used by Russia for the war in Ukraine]. According to soldiers who are in Ukraine, there are cases where a kamikaze drone crashes into an enemy platform, but does not self-detonate. Or there are other cases where the drone is caught by a safety net.

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TASS quotes a comment from the Sakhalin Center for Unmanned Technologies, which says that soldiers often regret not the drone they destroy, but the unexploded charge. “It is better to fly two or three times, relatively speaking, than once with the possibility of missing the target,” the center said. TASS also emphasizes that another reason for such a project is the shortage of FPV drones in the Russian army.

Like Ukraine, Russia also relies on voluntary donations and sponsorships for the purchase of FPV drones. This ammunition is not yet present in the military budget of the Russian Federation. However, the war in Ukraine has shown that FPV drones are one of the most effective weapons to defeat enemy platforms. “Military personnel are trying to use the equipment as efficiently as possible,” said the Sakhalin Center for Unmanned Technologies.

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TASS reports that Russian units that are in Ukraine and are part of the “special military operation” have already received the first supplies. A total of 10 drones were delivered. This means that before leaving for Ukraine, the drone passed state tests.

At the end of last year, the Russian Federation officially admitted that the drones produced in Russia do not meet the tactical and technical requirements of the Ministry of Defense. The same applies to manufacturers who cannot meet the Kremlin’s requirements. Colonel Igor Ischuk stated this during the round table “Prospects for the development of technologies for unmanned vehicles in the Russian Federation.” Colonel Ischuk is a senior official in the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Colonel Ischuk expressed a rather critical opinion, based on the results of the war with Ukraine. According to Ischuk, the main problem is the non-fulfillment of the element base. Ischuk said that the Ministry of Defense is currently forced to simplify the design of Russian unmanned aerial vehicles.

Ischuk opined that Russia needs drones primarily for electronic intelligence. Russia does not have, but needs, drones with an anti-jamming navigation receiver, Ischuk said, adding that all these requirements must be affordable.

The Lutik-Kamikadze is a relatively light drone, as kamikaze drones should be. It can carry a different weight of payload. For example, if used for a distance of 5 km, the drone carries 800 grams of payload. But if the intended enemy target is 3 km away, then the charge carried by the drone is 2 kilograms.

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