Russia’s Upgraded ‘Lancet’ Suicide Drones

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Russia is reportedly using an upgraded “Lancet” suicide drone against Ukrainian soldiers called the “Izdeliye-53,” which incorporates a navigation system that can autonomously recognize different kinds of targets, improving the strike rate.

Moreover, the latest version uses an “automatic guidance system that can distinguish types of targets and increase strike success rates,” this according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The report further states that Russia is testing these new drones for mass synchronized swarm strikes that could collapse Ukraine’s air defense systems.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict began in February of 2022, and since then the Kremlin has extensively used suicide (“kamikaze”) drones, due to them being relatively cheaper and easy to produce and able to attack various targets, including tanks, artillery, and personnel.

According to Interesting Engineering, the “Izdeliye-53” drone has an automatic guidance system that can distinguish types of targets and increase strike success rates. It also appears that the “Lancet” drone is capable of payloads weighing between 3-5 kilos, which is less than the suicide drones that Russia outsources from Iran.

The ISW report further states that the Russian forces are “reportedly not using the ‘Izdeliye-53’ drones on a wide scale yet, but Russian sources claimed that Russian forces are currently testing the drones for mass synchronized swarm strikes.” It also cautioned that such drones may be used to target vital infrastructure, including power plants and communication lines, including Ukraine’s frontline forces.

This Sunday, Russia claimed to have shot 36 drones over the Black Sea and the Crimean Peninsula in one night, but Kyiv hasn’t made any statements accepting or denying the strikes. On the other hand, Ukraine’s air force has also reportedly shot down five Iranian-made Shaheed suicide drones launched by Russia overnight.