Russia is developing a tube-launched loitering munition that shares features with the American Switchblade kamikaze drone.
The Vector-120 carries a 220- to 250-gram warhead, producing a destructive effect similar to an RPG-7 grenade launcher round, state-owned TASS wrote, citing the weapon’s unnamed manufacturer.
“This is quite enough to surpass the destructive effect of RGD-5 or F-1 grenades or compete with the RPG-7 grenade launcher round,” the manufacturer said.
Flight Test in 2024
The manufacturer plans the munition’s first flight test in 2024, launching it from a disposable tube launcher.
“Engineering efforts and pilot production of individual units of the Vector-120 loitering munition are underway now,” the design bureau said.
“We plan to enter the flight test phase as early as 2024. The device will be launched from a disposable launch tube in the serviceman’s gear.”
Another Russian Kamikaze Drone
Meanwhile, Russia has reportedly begun to deploy the Privet-82 kamikaze drone in Ukraine for combat and reconnaissance missions.
The Oko Design Bureau drone completed its flight trials a few months ago, and the first batch was expected to be deployed in June.
The indigenous drone has a range of 30 kilometers (19 miles) and a payload of 5 kilograms (11 pounds).