A Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter plane suffered damage from a Russian Lancet loitering munition, also known as Flying Kalashnikov, while stationed at Kryvyi Rih airfield.
This incident may mark the initial occurrence of such an attack.
A video circulating among military observers on social media depicts the Lancet approaching the MiG-29. However, the footage abruptly cuts off once the Lancet nears the jet.
The incident reported occured on September 11. The Russian MoD had announced "an attack on the Dolgintsevo airfield near Krivoy Rog in the Dnepropetrovsk region. As a result, 2 MiG-29 fighters and 3 Su-25 attack aircraft of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroyed." It did not mention the Lancet drone but Russian media has interpreted this to be an attack by a loitering munition.
The Lancet loitering munition is produced in various versions and typically features a wingspan of approximately 2-3m. It can achieve speeds of up to 200kmph, allowing for rapid deployment and maneuverability. With a range of approximately 40-70km, it can engage targets at considerable distances from its launch point.
Recounting the incide, Russian publication, topcor.ru reported:
Without any doubt, the Ukrainian fighter was disabled ...from the rupture (impact) of a high-explosive fragmentation warhead of the Lancet at the forward part of the fuselage, where various equipment is located.
A kamikaze UAV worth $35 thousand damaged an aircraft worth $10-15 million, which was located deep in Ukrainian territory. The incident was recorded by a reconnaissance UAV. Moreover, there is not even a trace of the presence of Ukrainian air defense in the footage. We remind you that the range of the longest-range version of the Lancet kamikaze UAV is 70 km according to information from its manufacturer.
The specific engine details of the Lancet are typically undisclosed due to security concerns, but it is often powered by an electric propulsion system, providing both efficiency and stealth during its missions.
The 'Lancet' loitering munition is shaped like a missile unlike Iran-produced Shahed -136 that resembles a mini-aircraft. The optical seeker is embedded in the nose rather than on its underbelly to reduce drag and leave a smaller radar signature. The two sets of X Plane wings- two at the mid-point and two at the far end, allow greater stability in the air. The propulsion system is all-electric with a two-bladed propeller at the rear.
Made of plastic and composite materials and about the size of a small air-to-air missile, it is "invisible" to traditional air defense radars.