One of the drone models used by Russia is to be modified to be used as a kamikaze, Russian media said. Such drones can be used to suppress enemy air defenses or to provide tactical-level air support to units in the field.
“A drone which would act similar to a fire ship is being developed now. It detonates after hitting a target,” a defense source told TASS.
The project is based on a model already in use, the source added, refraining to provide further details.
So-called kamikaze drones are small unmanned aircraft, which carry onboard explosives. Unlike larger drones that fire missiles at their targets, a kamikaze drone simply flies into it and sets off an explosion. The advantage is that the aircraft can be cheaper, lighter and harder to detect.
Similar weapons are being developed or are already in use in some other countries. The Pentagon has the AeroVironment Switchblade, a 2.7 kg UAV designed for infantry platoons. With a range of up to 10km and endurance of just 10 minutes, it can be used for precision strikes at covered targets, such as an enemy ambush.
Israel has Harpy and Harop, kamikaze drones produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, which are meant to destroy enemy radar stations. A small drone can approach a radar undetected close enough to avoid anti-aircraft systems. Harop was allegedly used by Azerbaijan in a recent offensive operation against its breakaway region Nagorni Karabakh to destroy command posts.
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