Russia aims to achieve a production of 5,000 Gastello kamikaze drones per month

Production has commenced in Russia for the Gastello kamikaze drone, an advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specifically designed to meet the unique needs of operators in special military operations zones, according to a development engineer. The production is expected to reach an impressive volume of 5,000 units per month.
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Gastello kamikaze drones in production (Picture source: vidéo footage frome RIA Novosti )

An internal source from RIA Novosti revealed that this innovative FPV drone has nighttime flight and operational capabilities. The production of the Gastello kamikaze drone is projected to reach an impressive volume of 5,000 units per month.

The development engineer also explained that the drones are manufactured on an assembly line, with 30% of the components, including frames and carbon casings, sourced domestically. Plans are in place to increase the proportion of Russian components in these combat drones to a rate of 95%. This move is motivated by the challenges posed by international sanctions, which have made it increasingly difficult for Russia to obtain electronic components. If Russia intends to achieve such production, it will be compelled to also enhance its electronic component manufacturing.

The Russian Gastello drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and kamikaze missions. It was named after Georgy Gastello, the co-pilot of Soviet pilot Valery Chkalov. The drone was developed by the Russian company ZALA Aero Group.

With a wingspan of 3m and a length of 2.4m, it weighs approximately 40kg and can fly at a maximum altitude of 5,000m. The drone is equipped with a high-resolution camera capable of capturing real-time images and videos. It can transmit data to the ground control station at distances of up to 150km.

The Russian Gastello drone is powered by an electric motor capable of generating a maximum power of 5kW. It has a top speed of 120km/h and can fly for up to 10 hours on a single charge. The drone features a GPS navigation system that enables autonomous flight and follows preprogrammed flight paths.

The Gastello drone is armed with a fragmentation explosive warhead. This type of warhead is designed to explode in flight, creating a large number of high-velocity small fragments that can cause damage over a wide area. The primary targets of the Gastello drone are armored vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers. It is also effective against fortifications and other reinforced targets.

The extent of damage that the Gastello drone can inflict depends on several factors, including the size of the warhead, the altitude at which it explodes, and the proximity to the target. However, it is capable of causing significant damage even to heavily armored targets and can be a highly effective weapon under the right circumstances.

Russia has gained several advantages in the Ukrainian conflict by using kamikaze drones. One of the most significant advantages is the ability to conduct precise and targeted strikes on enemy positions. These drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras and GPS systems that allow them to navigate to their targets with great precision. This means that Russian forces can neutralize key Ukrainian military assets, such as artillery positions and command centers, without putting their own troops in danger.

Another distinct advantage of kamikaze drones is their ability to operate in contested airspace. Traditional piloted aircraft are vulnerable to anti-aircraft weapons, which can shoot them down before they reach their targets. Kamikaze drones, on the other hand, are much smaller and harder to detect. They can fly at low altitudes, making them difficult to spot on radar, and can maneuver quickly to avoid incoming fire. Additionally, it is often expensive to shoot down a drone with modern anti-aircraft systems, which is why more and more anti-aircraft systems equipped with machine guns, rather than missiles, are reappearing on the battlefields in Ukraine.

Kamikaze drones thus offer a cost-effective solution for Russia. Traditional aerial strikes require expensive aircraft and highly skilled pilots, which can strain military resources. Kamikaze drones, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive to produce and can be operated by a small team of technicians. This means that Russia can conduct more strikes with fewer resources.

The success of kamikaze drones in Ukraine has sparked growing interest in this technology among other countries. Since the conflict also has an industrial dimension, drones represent a highly convincing solution for both belligerents.