Review of publicly available data indicates that the Lancet suicide drone targeted a minimum of 507 locations within Ukraine over a span of nearly 13 months of conflict.
As per a comprehensive assessment from Lostarmour, a Russia-based intelligence analysis website that relies on publicly accessible sources, Lancet suicide drones have conducted a total of 507 assaults on various Ukrainian weaponry since their deployment commenced in July 2022.
Among these, 170 targets were subjected to immediate destruction, while 269 armaments suffered substantial impairment. Lancet experienced misalignment in 28 instances, and outcomes remain unconfirmed for 40 sorties.
Significantly, over half of Lancet’s engagements focused on artillery installations, encompassing 106 self-propelled cannons, 131 howitzers and mortars, and 18 multi-rocket launchers. The Lancet’s secondary priority was Ukrainian air defense systems, comprising 41 defense complexes of diverse kinds, along with 43 radar and communication hubs. Additionally, the drone caused destruction or impairment to 67 primary battle tanks.
In July 2022, the Lancet UAV made its debut in the conflict arena, executing six sorties. Its user base saw a rapid escalation following Ukraine’s mobilization efforts in May, leading up to an extensive counter-offensive strategy. Notably, the peak usage of the Lancet occurred in July, coinciding with Russia’s deployment of 136 drones for targeted strikes.
Russia’s RT news agency stated that numerous images depicting Lancet UAV strikes remain undisclosed due to security considerations, and Moscow refrains from disclosing precise figures concerning the drone’s battlefield deployment.
Introduced by Russia’s Zala Aero in 2019, the Lancet UAV possesses autonomous capabilities, operating independently without reliance on ground or maritime control systems. Upon detecting a target, the Lancet swiftly engages, utilizing onboard explosives for destruction. Its sensor captures the targeting process, transmitting live imagery to assess attack efficacy.
Originally designated “Izdeliye 52,” the Lancet boasts a 40 km range and carries a 3 kg warhead. Its upgraded variant, “Izdeliye 51,” extends the range and features a more potent 5 kg warhead.
Alexander Zakharov, Zala Aero’s chief designer, revealed on July 16 that the company is developing the next-gen Lancet series, incorporating target selection algorithms and the capacity for coordinated swarm attacks, enhancing combat effectiveness.
Consequently, the operator gains the ability to designate operational zones and establish primary objectives for the offensive UAV. The complete sequence of scouring and electing targets for potential strikes will be entirely automated, overseen by the Lancet UAV.
The fresh Lancet series adheres to a warfare doctrine centered around vitality, where numerous UAVs interconnect and function as a unified entity. Upon target detection, the information will be disseminated across the entire strike unit. Every Lancet will receive an exclusive assignment, contingent on the nature of the warhead it carries, be it fragmentation or penetration.