Video of Russia's latest Lancet drone striking a US Bradley IFV shows how the weapon has been adapted to evade Ukrainian defenses

Video of Russia's latest Lancet drone striking a US Bradley IFV shows how the weapon has been adapted to evade Ukrainian defenses
  • Russia's newest Lancet drones appear to have found a way to evade Ukrainian defenses.

  • A video shows a drone appearing to fire explosively formed penetrators at a Ukrainian vehicle.

  • This means the warheads detonate some distance away, rather than on impact.

An advanced version of Russia's Lancet drone appears to have a new way to evade Ukrainian armored anti-tank grids and anti-drone nets.

Russian forces posted a video of a Lancet drone striking a Ukrainian combat vehicle by exploding several feet away from the target.

It appears to be no accident. The newer Lancet's warheads appear to detonate in the air before firing explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) toward the target, which Forbes describes as "slugs of molten metal."

It differs from older Lancet models which used warheads that would detonate on impact, and could become entangled in metal anti-drone nets and not detonate properly.

The new drones appear to be equipped with lidar technology, involving a laser rangefinder made of two optical cameras, which can help detonate the warheads at the optimal distance, according to Ukrainian military portal Militarynyi.

EFPs can travel several meters without losing their shape and bypass the add-on protections on Ukrainian armor, according to the independent Russian organization the Conflict Intelligence Team.

"A video of the latest iteration of the Lancet loitering munition equipped with such a warhead striking a Bradley IFV was recorded on the Donetsk axis," the Conflict Intelligence Team said.

"In the footage, one can clearly distinguish two flashes occurring almost simultaneously: one when the charge explodes approximately four meters from the target, and a second when the EFP reaches the armored vehicle."

The organization noted that using EFPs with Lancet drones gives them "the greatest effect on the battlefield."

While the advancements will put some Ukrainian vehicles at risk, the best-protected vehicles should still be able to fend off the attacks, Forbes said.

Spokesperson for Ukraine's Air Force Yurii Ihnat told the best way to counter the drones is to shoot them down in mid-flight or suppress them with electronic warfare.

He said that Ukrainian forces could target Orlan-10 drones, used for reconnaissance to help Lancets find their targets.

Russia's Lancet drones have become a scourge on the battlefield in Ukraine, and have been advancing in their range and capabilities.

Russian Telegram channels have recently reported that Scalpel drones are being deployed for the first time to the Donbas region, which are a smaller and more cost-effective version of the Lancet, Defence Blog reported.

A Lancet drone costs approximately 3 million roubles, or around $35,000, an expert told Reuters.

It is not clear how much the Scalpel costs, but it has a length of around 25 inches and can carry a 11 pound warhead, per Defence Blog.

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