Russia’s ZALA Aero Company, the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) division of Kalashnikov, has tested the KUB-BLA seaborne loitering munition. The small UAS is designed to have a maximum speed of about 80 miles per hour, an endurance of 30 minutes, and an explosive payload of 7 pounds against “remote ground targets.” The drone develops a speed of 80-130 km/h. Loitering munitions can have a dwell time up to six hours and are equipped with sensors to allow the drones to detect and attack targets independently. The advantages of KUB-BLA include “high accuracy, hidden launch, noiselessness, and easy to use.” The unveiling of the KUB-BLA comes as countries consider the implications of artificial intelligence and lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).
ZALA Aero (also called A-Level Aerosystems) is a company specialising in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development, located in Izhevsk, Russia. ZALA Aero has provided UAV systems for several sectors of the Russian government, including the Ministry of Defence, and has also won contracts to supply UAVs to foreign countries. ZALA Aero designs and produces unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as providing after-sale maintenance for their systems. The company’s in-house design and production projects include a variety of systems related to UAV design, manufacture and operation, including autopilots, airframes, mechanical and pneumatic catapults, launchers, payloads and communication technologies. The company is located in Izhevsk, Russia.