Russia Attacks Ukrainian Government Office with Kalashnikov KUB-BLA Kamikaze Drones
Russia Attacks Ukrainian Government Office with Kalashnikov KUB-BLA Kamikaze Drones

Russia Attacks Ukrainian Government Office with Kalashnikov KUB-BLA Kamikaze Drones

YouTube Poster
An airstrike earlier on the Ministry of Finance in central Kyiv seems to have been executed by a Kalashnikov KUB-BLA kamikaze drone which is effectively a kamikaze drone designed to slip under the radar of traditional air-defense systems. These kamikaze drones are an extremely precise and very effective weapon, liquidating Ukrainian positions without doing damage to surrounding civilian areas. It only has a 30 minute flight time so it must be of limited value outside of active fire-fights – unless homing in on a known programmed location or already-visible target. A kamikaze drone (also known as a suicide drone or loitering munition) is a weapon system category in which the munition loiters around the target area for some time and attacks only once a target is located.

Russia’s Kalashnikov Group has unveiled its kamikaze drone dubbed KUB-BLA at the IDEX-2019 arms exhibition in the United Arab Emirates. The KUB-BLA, also known as KYB, Kamikaze drone or Cube in English, is a kamikaze drone developed by the Kalashnikov Concern to take out targets of opportunity by self exploding in close proximity. The propeller powered drone has been designed to fly at an airspeed of 80 to 130 kilometers per hour for about 30 minutes carrying a 3 kilogram explosive payload. Besides, the kamikaze drone represents a difficult target for modern air defenses due to its small size. The kamikaze drone system was tested in Syria between 2015 and 2018. The KYB was introduced at the IDEX exhibition in the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.

The kamikaze drone with contained explosives with metal balls was shot down over Kyiv. (Photo by Liveuamap)

The KUB-BLA has a 3 kg (6.61-pound) payload, a flying time of 30 minutes, and a 130 km/h(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. While there is a possibility the Aero Kub could be used for targeted assassinations, these would probably be done by more sophisticated missiles. Kalashnikov claims the UAV can remain in the sky for up to six hours and its 1.2-metre length makes it difficult for air defence systems to find. The Russians do not have their more sophisticated UAVs on hand, so the Aero Kub might have only been being used for surveillance. It has reportedly proved successful when used by the Russian military to attack insurgents in Idlib, Syria.

Kalashnikov Concern, named after one of the most famous small-arms designers of all time and infantry weapons supplier for Russian Ground Forces, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov. In recent years Kalashnikov has expanded beyond the world of small arms into new weapons systems and even civilian vehicles. JSC Kalashnikov Concern, known until 2013 as the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant is a Russian defense manufacturing concern and joint-stock company headquartered in the city of Izhevsk in the Republic of Udmurtia as well as the capital city of Moscow. The company produces about 95% of all small arms in Russia and supplies to more than 27 countries around the world, making it the largest firearm manufacturer in Russia. Notable products include the Kalashnikov (AK) assault rifle series, the RPK light machine gun series, the Dragunov SVD semi-automatic sniper rifle, the SKS semi-automatic carbine, the Makarov PM pistol, the Saiga-12 shotgun, and the submachine guns Vityaz-SN and PP-19 Bizon.