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Russian Military Receives Upgraded Kamikaze Drone With Deadlier Warhead

The Russian Armed Forces has received an upgraded KUB-BLA loitering munition with a more lethal warhead.

The Zala Aero drone earlier had a relatively small three-kilogram (6.61-pound) fragmentation warhead, restricting its effectiveness against certain targets.

Its modified version reportedly features an OFBCh-2.5 warhead, consisting of an HMX-based explosive with a yield 1.7 times that of TNT.

“Tests have been successfully completed, and the first batch is being shipped to the customer right now, I think, at this very moment. This is a serious step, because in fact it was a new product,” European Defense Review quoted Kalashnikov president Alan Lushnikov as saying.

Silent Assassin

The catapult-launched drone is powered by a battery-run electric motor, providing a flight speed of up to 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour and an endurance of 30 minutes. 

It has been designed to silently slip in under enemy radar thanks to its low-noise electric motor.

However, a lack of electro-optical sensors forbids it from autonomously adjusting its flight path. 

Ukraine Deployment

The delta-wing drone saw its first deployment during the ongoing Ukraine war, extensively being used by Russian special and airborne forces for tactical reconnaissance strikes.

A tactical reconnaissance strike consists of pairing a reconnaissance drone with a loitering munition for real time detection and strike of enemy targets.

The Russian defense industrial complex has doubled the munition’s production in recent months in response to war demands, with efforts being made to improve its range, lethality, and navigation capabilities, according Lushnikov.

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