Recent reports on Russian Telegram channels have announced the deployment of the first batch of “Scalpel” loitering munitions, a smaller and more cost-effective counterpart to the well-known “Lancet” series.
The eastern region of Ukraine is the designated theater of operation for this new weaponry. According to a Russian source, “There is a shortage of Lancets – that’s a fact. We are not competing with Lancet; we just aim to supply the necessary means of destruction to the front.”
Developed by Russia’s Vostok Design Bureau, the Scalpel loitering munition, often referred to as a kamikaze drone, features a drone with a cross-wing design, sharing visual similarities with the established Lancet-3 from Zala Aero.
Russian sources stated that the Scalpel has a diameter of 125 mm and a length of 650 mm, while boasting a 5 kg warhead. This payload capacity is well-suited for Russian tank shells.
Russian Telegrams are reporting that the first batch of “Scalpel” loitering munitions ( a smaller “budget” version of Lancet) is ready for use in eastern Ukraine: “….there are not enough Lancets – that’s a fact. We are not competing (with Lancet) – we just want to deliver the… https://t.co/gw70EfZ4HZ pic.twitter.com/5Mqd9Jo8J9
— Samuel Bendett (@sambendett) November 2, 2023
The Scalpel’s key features include a flight range of 40 km, a payload capacity of 5 kg, and a cruising speed of 120 km/h.
The deployment of the Scalpel loitering munition in eastern Ukraine could present even more challenges for Ukrainian troops.