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The development of kamikaze drones22 September 2023
Russia has developed a new long-range kamikaze drone called Italmas. This weapon offers enhanced capabilities that could change the game on the battlefield, particularly in terms of range and targeting.
The emergence of the Italmas drone
Russian drone manufacturer Aeroscan recently announced the development of a new surveillance munition, commonly known as a kamikaze drone. According to state TV channel Russia-24, the new drone, called Italmas (Izdeliye-54), boasts long-range capabilities that set it apart from its predecessors. Engineers say the drone represents an evolution of the Lancet model, with an internal combustion engine that significantly increases its range, as well as a larger warhead.
Technical features and innovations
The Italmas drone is equipped with an internal combustion engine that extends its range to over 200 km. This is a significant advance on previous models. In addition, the drone is equipped with a larger warhead, enhancing its performance for engaging targets outside line-of-sight. Initial tests were shown on Russia-24, where the assembly process and first experiments with the new drone can be seen.
Use and strategic impact
Kamikaze drones, or suicide drones, are aerial weapon systems capable of flying over an area for a period of time before striking an identified enemy target. The Russia-24 report states that “Italmas could considerably extend the range beyond which Ukrainian artillery and armored vehicles could previously feel relatively safe”. This assertion shows that Russia is already considering specific applications for this new weapons system, which could have consequences on the ground in Ukraine, where military tensions are already high.
Extrapolation: long-term consequences
The introduction of Italmas on the battlefield could have several consequences. Firstly, it could encourage other countries to develop similar technologies, leading to an arms race in the field of kamikaze drones. On the other hand, its long range could disrupt existing military strategies, particularly those based on the use of artillery and armored vehicles. Moreover, the proliferation of such weapons raises ethical questions concerning targeting and liability for collateral damage.
Challenges and ethical issues
The use of kamikaze drones presents both technical and ethical challenges. Precise targeting and minimizing collateral damage are crucial issues. In addition, the prospect of increased automation in warfare raises questions about human responsibility in the event of blunders or errors.
The Italmas long-range kamikaze drone marks a milestone in the evolution of Russia’s military arsenal. Equipped with features that increase its range and power, it could be a game-changer on the battlefield. However, its introduction and possible proliferation raise ethical questions and could prompt a new arms race. The countries concerned and the international community will have to be vigilant, and perhaps reconsider the rules of engagement and treaties in force to adapt to this new reality.
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