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Daily News Analysis

Lancet Drone

30th June, 2023 Defence

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Context: Ukrainian forces say Moscow is bombing its regions with Lancet drones.

The ZALA Lancet

  • The ZALA Lancet is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition developed by Russian company ZALA Aero Group (part of Kalashnikov Concern) for the Russian Armed Forces.
  • It was first unveiled in 2019 at the ARMY-2019 military expo in Moscow.
  • The ZALA Lancet can be used for both reconnaissance and strike missions.


  •  It has a maximum range of 40 kilometres (25 mi).
  • It has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of up to 12 kilograms (26 lb).
  • In combat roles, they can be armed either with high explosive (HE) or HE-fragmentation warheads.

Importance of the Lancet drones

  • They are low-cost suicide drones that are capable of destroying equipment which is many times their value and they are not easy to defend against.
  • The newest Lancet model, the Lancet 3, can fly up to 50 km (30 miles).
  • Thus they are better able to strike targets deep behind Ukrainian lines than any other Russian suicide drone besides the Shahed.
  • Their ability to loiter and then chase down their target makes them a threat to high-value equipment such as tanks, self-propelled artillery and rocket launch systems.
  • The Lancet, which flies low and slow, tends to confuse traditional air defence systems, which are built to intercept fast-moving targets with a larger heat signature.
  • They fly at 100 kilometres per hour and thus shooting them down with small arms is very difficult.

The Russo-Ukrainian War

  • The Russo-Ukrainian War, also referred to as the Ukrainian crisis, is an ongoing international conflict between Russia, alongside Russian-backed separatists, and Ukraine, which began in February 2014.
  • Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas War.
  • The first eight years of conflict also included naval incidents, cyber warfare, and heightened political tensions.
  • In February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Timeline of The Russo-Ukrainian War

April 2013

Euromaidan or the Maidan Uprising was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began with large protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv.

The protests were the result of President Viktor Yanukovych's sudden decision not to sign the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement, instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Early 2014

The Euromaidan protests led to the Revolution of Dignity and the ousting of Ukraine's pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych.


April 2014

Russia annexed Crimea after a highly-disputed referendum.


May 2014

pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region and proclaimed the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) as independent states, starting the Donbas war.


February 2015

Russia and Ukraine signed the Minsk II agreements to end the conflict, but the agreements were never fully implemented in the years that followed.


January 2021

Russia built up a large military presence near its border with Ukraine, including within neighbouring Belarus.


February 2022

Russia recognized the DPR and LPR as independent states.

September 2022

Russia declared the annexation of four partially-occupied regions in southern and eastern Ukraine, which was internationally unrecognised.



The war has resulted in a refugee crisis and tens of thousands of deaths. There has been continuing conflict between NATO and Russia for many years in the region. Global efforts must be put to end the war.


Consider the following statements about “ZALA Lancet”:

  1. The ZALA Lancet is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition developed by Russia.
  2. It has a maximum range of 40 kilometres (25 mi).

Which of the above  statements are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both
  4. None

Ans: C