While some armies are struggling to find the best way to defend themselves against unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), others are working to develop more effective ones. On February 22nd, the Kalashnikov defence group, under Russian government control, announced that its new kamikaze UAV would complete its test period during the course of the year.
A smart killer
Developed by Zala Aero, a subsidiary of the Kalashnikov group, the KYB drone is designed to slip through enemy defences and crash into its targets with a 3-kilo payload. Operating at between 50 and 80 mph with a 30-minute autonomy, it can attack targets whose coordinates have been pre-recorded or on the basis of a simple image downloaded into the system. This would mean that if the operators entered an image, for example of an American M-ATV, the UAV would search for the presence of a similar vehicle in the field.
A silent killer
According to Rostec, the group's parent company, the KYB, measuring about 3 feet long, is completely ‘silent’ and can be launched ‘from under cover.’ ‘The shell is delivered to the target regardless of the terrain or whether the target is concealed or not, both at low and high altitudes. It is an extremely precise and effective weapon that is very difficult to combat with traditional air defence systems,’ explained Sergey Chemezov, Rostec's CEO, during the UAV's presentation at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi in 2019. The drone owes this discretion in part to its relatively modest wingspan of 4 feet.
According to the Russian press agency Tass, quoting the firm's managers, ‘Middle Eastern countries’ have already expressed their interest in this new kamikaze UAV.