Lancet ‘locks target’, but the information stands as manipulated

Reports are emerging regarding the latest capabilities of Russia’s Lancet drone, a weapon often referred to as a kamikaze drone. Industry insiders suggest that this drone now can lock on to a target as it approaches its final mission phase. Evidence of this upgrade is being disseminated on various social media channels, strengthening these claims. 

Lancet 'locks target', but the information stands as manipulated
Photo credit: Twitter

An image disseminated from the Russian drone’s camera, which is seemingly trained on an adversary’s artillery system, is annotated with the caption “Target locked.” Yet, the timing of this enhancement remains uncertain, with indications that it might have been implemented sometime in the past and its existence only recently disclosed. 

However, critics and analysts are casting doubt on these assertions. They conjecture that the “Target locked” annotation seems inappropriately positioned, suggesting the possibility of image manipulation. This has led to speculation that the image may have been altered in some way.

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Photo credit: Zala Aero

Green markers

Let it be known that, if the adaptation is indeed precise [disregarding the photograph], it paints the Russian drone in a less flattering light. The justification behind this is that such a feature ought not to be a novelty in the realm of military manufacturing – it has been a standard function for years. That is to say, if it is only now that the Russian engineers are choosing to engage the “target lock”, it testifies to the drone’s technical lag at the time of its creation. 

The original video, the source of the Lancet camera screenshot, does not display a “Target Locked” symbol but exhibits familiar green markers. These indicators are different from a “target locked” function, signifying that the drone has identified a target that it is required to engage.

Lancet 'locks target', but the information stands as manipulated
Photo credit: Twitter

‘Target locked’ is an advantage

Leaving aside whether or not the claim about the new functionality is true, let’s take a look at what benefits Lancet would have if the information is true.

By locking onto the target, the Lancet can track its movements and make fine adjustments to ensure a direct hit. This is especially useful when engaging fast-moving or evasive targets, as the munition can continuously update its trajectory to precisely engage the target.

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Video screenshot

Not only the accuracy of the ammunition is improved, however, by the “target lock” function. For example, with a similar function, the Russian drone can increase its range. By precisely tracking the target, Lancet can calculate the necessary trajectory and propulsion to reach the target effectively. This extends the effective range of the munition, allowing it to engage targets that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Better performance

Target lock also improves the ammunition’s ability to penetrate defenses. By continuously tracking the target, the munition can adjust its trajectory and time of flight to exploit vulnerabilities in the target’s defenses. This may include maneuvering to avoid countermeasures or timing the engagement to bypass defensive measures.

Additionally, a lockable lancet can improve safety by reducing collateral damage. By precisely tracking the target, the munitions can minimize the risk of hitting unintended targets or causing excessive damage to the environment. This is especially important in situations where civilians or critical infrastructure are near the target.

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