A Russian Lancet suicide drone flew at least 70 km to a Ukrainian military airport in the Dnipropetrovsk region and damaged a MiG-29 fighter.
A video recording of the attack has been posted. This is a record flight distance with the Lancet UAV. The video clearly shows the Lancet suicide drone heading towards a Ukrainian fighter jet located in the apron area, surrounded by earthen fences.
An explosion occurred in front of the fighter’s fuselage, the smoke rising was not clearly visible because the image was interrupted. Whether the Russian suicide UAV actually caused damage to the Ukrainian MiG-29, and to what extent, remains a mystery. The Russian press’s claim that the closest position of the country’s military is 70 km from the airport may be true, but that does not mean that the Lancet actually flew that distance or farther.
The Lancet suicide drone is probably one of the few Russian weapons that has proven effective in the Ukrainian battlefield. Since the beginning of this year, the Russian Armed Forces have increased the use of the Lancet suicide UAV and this drone is achieving much success, even considered the most effective weapon on the battlefield.
In mid-July this year, Western media reported that Russia had at least tripled its production of Lancet loitering munition. This suicide drone was developed into the Izdelie 53, applying swarm warfare capabilities. The Lancet drone has evolved into the Izdelie 53, adopting swarming behavior. This means that a single drone can identify armored vehicles and communicate with others, launching a shared attack on the targets.
The new version of the advanced drone was introduced on the Rossiya 1 television channel, and impressed with its stealth capabilities and precise attacks on multiple targets at the same time. Instead of a catapult take-off, the Lancet now launches from a system holding four drones. The new design collects data and maps their route toward the targets.
The drone’s structure has shifted from a cruciform wing design to a 45-degree radial orientation. The drones operate together, so when one identifies a target, the rest of the swarm can quickly respond. A Russian source told Rossiya 1 that intercepting the drone swarm is almost impossible. The source also clarified that the Lancet operates based on rapid mathematical algorithms, not artificial intelligence.