A Russian defense contractor, Kalashnikov Concern, named after one of the most famous small-arms designers of all time and infantry weapons supplier for Russian Ground Forces, is now selling a drone capable of carrying a small explosive charge—and diving onto its target to blow itself and the target into smithereens. Kalashnikov KUB-BLA drone is effectively a kamikaze meant to slip under the radar of traditional air-defense systems.
In recent years Kalashnikov has expanded beyond the world of small arms into new weapons systems and even civilian vehicles. The company is supplying new AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles and Chukavin sniper rifles set to arm the Russian Ground Forces, but it’s also building the new BAS-01G drone tank, a hovercycle, and even an electric car.
Kalashnikov introduced the at the International Exhibition of Arms and Military Equipment IDEX-2019 in Abu Dhabi. The KUB-BLA has a three-kilogram (6.61-pound) payload, a flying time of 30 minutes, and a 130-kilometer-per-hour (80-mph) top speed. Typically, the payload is apparently a high-explosive charge. The drone is 47 inches wide by 37 inches long and 6.5 inches high.
, KUB-BLA attacks targets after the coordinates are fed into the vehicle. Alternately, it can attack a target based on an image uploaded to the control system. If true, this suggests that operators could pick an image of, for example, an American M-ATV vehicle and the drone would seek out similar-looking vehicles on the battlefield. That sort of target-recognition system is increasingly common in anti-tank missiles.
Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec, of which Kalashnikov is a subsidiary, is quoted as saying, “The charge on this complex (system) is delivered to the target, regardless of its secrecy and terrain, both at small and at high altitudes. This is a very accurate and most effective weapon that is very difficult to fight with using traditional air-defense systems.“ According to Kalashnikov the drone is “successfully tested and ready for use.”