RuAF Lancet suicide uses molten alloy in its projectile – US

A revised edition of the Lancet, sporting a revolutionary ‘Shock Core’ as an offensive component, was introduced in the special operations sector. In an article in Forbes, David Axe shed light on this innovative ammunition update for unmanned aircraft.

Lancet mutates into Izdelie 53, is made in a mall, production tripled
Video screenshot

The findings made by the publication’s correspondent suggest that Russia’s latest Lancet explosive drones are equipped to fire molten metal slugs. It has been reported that these projectiles can penetrate the supplemental armor relied upon by Ukrainian forces to shield their vehicles from drone strikes.

Amidst the rising frequency of drone-launched explosively formed penetrators [EFPs] affecting Ukrainians, there exists a silver lining. Indeed, one can find solace in the fact that the highest grade of armored vehicles should possess the capacity to repel such attacks.

Several months ago, meticulous viewers reportedly identified what appeared to be Russian drones armed with EFPs in images and footage from the front lines. It’s now increasingly acknowledged among larger audiences.

This week, an independent unit known as the Conflict Intelligence Team highlighted a recording of the newest version of the Lancet loitering munition, outfitted with a specific warhead. The video showcased this munition making a direct hit on a Bradley fighting vehicle, located at the Donetsk axis.

In the situation of an EFP-armed drone, such as the Lancet, a laser-ranging sensor onboard the drone is dedicated to determining the distance to the target as the drone makes its swift approach. At the optimal distance, typically between 12 to 15 feet, this sensor activates an explosive charge. This charge is strategically positioned behind a curved metal plate for maximum impact.

Ka-52 is no longer Leopard's biggest threat, the ZALA Lancet is
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While an Explosively Formed Penetrator [EFP] may not possess the raw power of a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that makes direct contact with its target, it boasts a distinct advantage in its ability to bypass specific armor types. For example, bolt-on slats and cage armors designed to detonate high-explosive rounds at a distance and entrap explosive drones before detonation are ineffective against an EFP.

This technique, however, is but a mere fraction of the Russian army’s capabilities. As reported by Scott Ritter, a retired US Army expert with an illustrious career in espionage, drone squadrons have started deploying swarm tactics involving no less than five unmanned aerial vehicles.

What damage did Lancet do after hitting UK Stormer HVM air defense?
Photo credit: Telegram

Quoting Ritter, the introduction of this innovation will significantly alter the tactics of warfare. Even the seasoned troops of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, along with their sophisticated Western counterparts, currently lack effective strategies to counter a singular, group onslaught by unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs].

Contrary to some assumptions, Ritter’s theory is not mere fabrication, but rather an assertion previously reported by BulgarianMilitary.com this year. The Russian firm ZALA, the creator of the Lancet, showcased its most recent modification via a broadcast on Russian television. At that time, the revelation surfaced that the Russian defense forces were set to deploy a squadron of Lancet drones from a unified multi-tube launcher.

Upon analyzing the recently unveiled video, one can ascertain that ZALA has implemented substantial modifications to the Lancet’s design. In the updated version, the drone’s wings, once crossing midway through the fuselage, now exhibit a clockwise curling spiral pattern.

The updated version of the Lancet exhibited a few months prior on the Russian television channel Russia 1, was not the only remarkable transformation. A shift was observed in the production model too. Abandoned, sizable commercial spaces in Moscow vacated by Western firms have been repurposed for Lancet’s Russian manufacturers. This relocation to the reconditioned spaces, now equipped with such capabilities as CNC machines, printers, and testing rooms, helped expedite new production processes without necessitating the erection of a new structure.

In Russia, the deployment of lancets featuring thermal cameras has recently been implemented. These high-tech advances could considerably complicate night-time operations for the Ukrainian military forces. Activities such as personnel rotation, wounded soldiers’ evacuation, and the transportation of essential supplies like ammunition and food to the front lines have now grown significantly more challenging.

About Lancet

'Russian Bayraktar' - it is loitering Lancet that continues to reap
Photo credit: YouTube

The ZALA Lancet, also referred to as the Russian Lancet drone, is a compact unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] specifically engineered to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance operations. With a 1.6-meter wingspan and a length of 1.2 meters, this UAV has a maximum takeoff weight of 5.5 kilograms. 

This miniaturized aircraft is outfitted with a high-definition camera capable of capturing photographic and videographic material, as well as a thermal imaging camera for nocturnal vision. Boasting a maximum flight duration of 120 minutes, the Lancet can ascend to heights of up to 5,000 meters. 

It excels in its adaptability, able to function in temperature extremes ranging from -30 to +40 degrees Celsius, and in wind conditions up to 15 meters per second. The Lancet’s operation is also highly versatile – it can be maneuvered manually or programmed for autonomous flight via GPS navigation. 

The Lancet drone houses a unique anti-tank warhead known as the Shmel-M. This warhead’s thermobaric properties produce an intense blast, capable of neutralizing armored vehicles and fortified structures.  

The inclusion of the Shmel-M warhead is a significant advancement from the standard high-explosive anti-tank [HEAT] warhead previously employed by the Lancet drone. The benefit of the thermobaric technology harnessed by the Shmel-M is a more potent and efficient detonation, elevating its effectiveness against armored foes.

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