Lancet kamikaze burned Ukrainian Su-25 at Kryvyi Rih airport

The Russian military recently utilized Lancet munitions to destroy a Su-25 attack aircraft belonging to the Ukrainian Air Force at Dolgintsevo Airport, near Kryvyi Rih. This information was shared by the Russian Defense Ministry on June 11, 2024. 

Lancet kamikaze burned Ukrainian Su-25 at Kryvyi Rih airport
Video screenshot

“Our UAV operators successfully targeted the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ aircraft parking area at Dolgintsevo Airport, located in the Dnipropetrovsk region, using Lancet munitions,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced. The Ukrainian aircraft was destroyed at the coordinates 47.9029289, and 33.5265230, approximately 65 kilometers from the combat contact line. 

This incident isn’t isolated; the Russian military has previously struck Ukrainian aircraft at this airport. Recorded attacks include hits on Su-25 planes on November 20, 2023, and June 6, 2024, as well as a strike on a MiG-29 on September 19, 2023.

Russian pilots shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 in the sky over the DPR
Photo credit: Wkimedia

Lancets continue to play a crucial role for the Russian military, engaging a wide array of targets during operations in the special military zone. These loitering munitions attack everything from artillery and air defense systems to radar stations, armored vehicles, and even enemy aircraft. 

This update from the Russian ministry comes shortly after Ukraine reported drone attacks on a Russian Su-57 Felon fighter jet at Akhtubinsk Airport. Similar to a previous incident involving a parked and inactive Su-25, the Su-57 was also targeted while stationary. It’s clear that Russia views the Su-57 as a valuable asset, potentially more so than Ukraine’s burning Su-25. Nevertheless, Russia seems determined to respond to Ukrainian offensives. 

BulgarianMilitary.com has raised concerns that a similar fate might befall the F-16 fighters that Ukraine expects to receive. Interestingly, Brigadier General Serhiy Kholubtsov, head of the Ukrainian Air Force, suggests that Ukraine has the means to counter such drone attacks on their F-16s. However, he acknowledges that countering Russian ballistic missiles poses a greater challenge, particularly as Kyiv faces a missile shortage for its Patriot systems.

Kyiv says: Ukrainian UAV scores first strike on Russian Su-57
Photo credit: Moscow Times

The Lancet loitering munition, developed by the Russian defense industry, is a type of unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] designed for precision strikes on ground targets. It is part of a broader category of weapons known as loitering munitions, which can hover over a target area for an extended period before engaging. 

The dimensions of the Lancet loitering munition are relatively compact, which aids in its deployment and maneuverability. It typically features a wingspan of around 1.3 meters and a length of approximately 1 meter. This size allows it to be easily transported and launched from various platforms. 

Propulsion for the Lancet is provided by an electric motor, which powers a pusher propeller. The payload of the Lancet loitering munition includes a high-explosive warhead designed to neutralize a range of targets, from personnel and light vehicles to fortified positions. The warhead is optimized for precision strikes, minimizing collateral damage and increasing the effectiveness of the munition. 

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

The operational range of the Lancet loitering munition is another critical aspect of its design. It can cover distances of up to 40 kilometers, allowing it to be deployed from a safe distance while still reaching its intended target. This range provides tactical flexibility and enhances the survivability of the launching platform.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

Russian Lancet hit a Ukrainian Su-25 60 km behind the front line
Video screenshot

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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