Russian loitering munitions, also known as kamikaze drones, are making an impact on the conflict by allowing Russian troops to attack Ukrainian high-tech and expensive weapon systems such as radars or long-range artillery.
Loitering munitions are unmanned aerial systems that crash into their targets and often explode upon impact. They are considered most effective for attacking stationary targets and if the target moves away from its original location, the chance of a hit is significantly reduced.
The open-source intelligence (OSINT) group Oryx said on March 4 that at least 100 successful hits of Russian kamikaze drones on Ukrainian targets have been recorded.
A list of Ukrainian targets visually confirmed to have been destroyed, damaged or hit by Russian Kub and Lancet loitering munitions include air defense systems, modern Ukrainian-made combat vehicles and Western-provided artillery systems.
Hit Or Miss: The Russian Loitering Munition Kill List 🇷🇺
– 2 M109 SPGs (1x destroyed, 1x damaged)
More than 100 successful hits have been recorded. Most of these were achieved by the Lancet-3M.
Full list: https://t.co/Wy1KFlPEly
— Oryx (@oryxspioenkop) March 3, 2023
Kamikaze drones have become a real headache for Ukrainian troops and inciting fear into the minds of artillery crews, which have become the main target for Russian drones. Because the drone is guided to the target using tactical reconnaissance such as Orlan-30 or Zala, it is very difficult to detect the approaching Lancet or Kub in advance, and it is also challenging to jam the radio control channel because at the final stage, it is already controlled by an inertial system.
The OSINT group has said that the increasing use of loitering munitions comes as Russia’s fleet of attack helicopters has suffered extensive losses.
The Oryx notes that Russia sought to fully utilize the loitering munitions’ propaganda effect by uploading footage of their exploits.