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ZALA Lancet

Loitering Munition Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) [ 2019 ]

The ZALA Lancet series was unveiled in 2019 and debuted during 2020 by Russian forces fighting in Syria.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/15/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The ZALA "Lancet" is a "loitering munition" Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) originating from Russia's ZALA Aero. The company known in the Russian drone sphere for its fixed-wing "421" series (detailed elsewhere on this site) as well as the "KYB-UAV" loitering design and seeks to broaden its depth at the tactical level against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine (2022 to Present). The design reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2019 with Russian forces and early iterations of the product were utilized in the fighting in Syria from November 2020 onwards.

As a loitering munition type, the aircraft is designed to be consumed in the attack on a target or target area. Its general shape is that of a missile with the optics set embedded in the nose section. There are two sets of "x-plane" mainplanes, one set featured at the midway point and the other at the end point of the drone's body for the needed control in the air. At the extreme rear of the fuselage is a two-bladed propeller unit arranged in "pusher" fashion (leaving the nose area unobstructed for the optics set). The propulsion scheme is completely electrical (battery driven).

The end result is a low-cost, relatively easy-to-operate, and easy-to-produce attack weapon for any modern fighting force.

The drone has a range out to 25 miles after launch making it ideal for Non-Line-of-Sight (NLoS) ranged attacks. The system's actual level of precision in the field is unknown at this time.

Two primary versions are offered by the company: the "Lancet-1" is a more reconnaissance-minded, lightweight attack platform while the heavier "Lancet-3" carries a 3 kilogram warload.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Russia national flag graphic

In Active Service.

National flag of Russia Russia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Special Forces
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Design utilizes an all-electric powerplant for drive power.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

Installed: 1 x Electric propulsion system driving two-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement.
25 mi
(40 km | 74 nm)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the ZALA Lancet 3 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Internal warload for kamikaze direct-attack role.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Lancet - Base Series Designation.
Lancet-1 - Lighter production model for armed reconnaissance role.
Lancet-3 - Heavier direct-attack version; 6.6lb war load.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the ZALA Lancet
Official image from ZALA Aero Group marketing materials.


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