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Kalashnikov, the company best known for creating and manufacturing the famous AK-47, is now stepping into the drones game.
Kalashnikov has been developing a small sized drone capable of crashing a 3 kilogram warhead into a target over 40 kilometers away. The Kalashnikov KUB-BLA drone is 1.2 meters in length and can fly for 30 minutes at a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour. Deadly and efficient with its accuracy, the drone is also very hard to combat by common air defense systems.
However, Russians aren’t the first to utilize these “suicide drones”. In fact, the United States has gone on record using its own suicide drones against ISIS members during the battle to take back Mosul in 2016-2017. The difference between Americans developing effective suicide drones, and Russians developing effective suicide drones, is that the Russians seem to have a notorious track record of where their weapons technology end up.
Kalashnikov is best known for its AK-47, a highly reliable weapon that’s very simple to use. Widely used by terrorist organizations and authoritarian dictatorships around the world, the AK-47 has given substantial power to the wrong people in all corners of the world. The same company that has developed the AK-47 and introduced it to the world is now putting lethal drones for sale. Kalashnikov promises them to be low-cost and highly efficient, so assuming that the wrong hands may get on the KUB-BLA drone wouldn’t be such a stretch.
Where the U.S. government is cautious towards exporting military technology, the Russians don’t seem to put much of a filter towards who buys their weapons. It would not be much of a surprise to see these drones in use by Assad, Maduro, or Kim, all leaders covertly supported by Russia. There is no reason for these drones to not be in such high demand considering Kalashnikov’s record with the AK-47.
You don’t need too much of an imagination to picture how these weapons may be used if they were given to the wrong people. No more suicide bombers needing to pass checkpoints or assassins needing to physically be at the place of the murder, one drone is enough to do as much damage all at the benefit of the operator being miles away from any danger.
The best solution we have for this new type of threat is to strengthen the existing aerial defense systems and develop stronger anti-drone technology. We already have the technology and the private sector is already hard at work developing technology that deals with drone threats. One example of such companies is WhiteFox Defense. Defenseone.com reports that the company has built a system capable of hijacking a drone mid-flight. Another company working to strengthen us against drone attacks is Echodyne, which have succeeded in developing long range radar that can identify unauthorized drones in a certain area.
As the threat of drones grow larger, then so does our capabilities to defend against such threats.