A video appearing to show a Russian Lancet drone striking a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter at its base suggests the small drones can now hit targets much farther away

  • A video appears to show a Russian Lancet drone striking a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter at an air base.

  • It was launched from about 50 miles away, but Lancet drones could previously reach up to only 25 miles.

  • The drones, which are small and cheap, are being increasingly used by Russia in the war.

A Russian drone reportedly struck a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter that was about 50 miles away from the nearest Russian position, suggesting its small attack drones can now reach much farther distances than before.

A video shared online appeared to show the moment a Lancet drone dropped explosives on the fighter jet as it was sitting on the tarmac at Dolgintsevo air base near Kryvyi Rih, Forbes reported.

The Lancet is produced by a subsidiary of Russia's Kalashnikov arms manufacturer and was introduced in 2019.

Previous versions of the drone had a range of about 25 miles, weighed about 35 lbs, and could cruise at about 70 mph, Forbes reported.

A source familiar with the drone manufacturer Zala Aero, however, said the MiG-29 was hit at "more than 80 kilometers," or about 50 miles, from the drone's launch point, the Russian outlet RIA Novosti reported.

The source added that the drone "has become a truly front-line long arm."

Insider could not independently verify the video.

The development poses a new challenge for the Ukrainian air force, whose main air bases were previously out of reach for Russia's small attack drones.

Russia has ramped up its use of Lancet drones in Ukraine in recent months, using the cheap drones to try and strike high-value targets, Reuters reported.

Samuel Bendett, an expert in unmanned and robotic military systems at the Center for Naval Analyses, told Reuters the small "kamikaze" drones cost about 3 million rubles, which is about $31,000, citing publicly available Russian sources.

A military personnel looking down at a drone.
An image of what appears to be a Lancet drone in Ukraine, in a handout image from January.Defence Ministry Of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

The drones are difficult to intercept due to their slow speed and low flying altitude, as many air-defense systems are designed to work against fast-moving targets.

They have been most effective against light-armored vehicles, artillery systems, and older tanks.

"If this strike happened as it did, it probably confirms that this particular drone may have been operated by Russia's Special Forces, who are Lancet's regular users," Bendett told Insider.

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