Russia Not Exporting Lancet Drones as Domestic Demand Rise

Wed Nov 15 2023
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MOSCOW: According to a senior Russian arms export official cited by TASS on Wednesday, Russia has decided not to export its Lancet drones due to strong domestic demand.

These drones, regarded as a significant threat to Ukrainian forces, are being retained amidst high interest from abroad in Russian-made munitions, including the Lancet. Alexander Mikheyev, head of Rosoboronexport, highlighted the effectiveness of these munitions in combat operations, causing a surge in global interest. Despite this, Russia is prioritizing domestic needs, given the Lancet’s role in posing challenges to Ukraine’s military efforts by targeting valuable Western-donated equipment.

The Lancet, a drone developed by ZALA Aero Group under the Kalashnikov Concern, has gained substantial attention in foreign markets. However, despite the high demand from the Russian Armed Forces, there’s currently no documentation allowing its export. This drone, known for its self-destruct capability, boasts a range exceeding 40 km (25 miles). Kalashnikov has announced plans to significantly escalate production without specifying exact figures. Notably, these drones have demonstrated their ability to damage or neutralize Ukraine’s Western-supplied military equipment along the conflict zone.

General Valery Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s Commander-in-chief, acknowledged the extensive and effective utilization of these drones by Russia, highlighting the challenge of effectively countering them. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the country’s counteroffensive has made limited progress, with intense battles concentrated around Avdiivka in Donetsk. Additionally, Kyiv claims to have established a presence on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region, further southwest from Avdiivka.

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