This is the kamikaze Liutyi drone that Ukraine uses to attack Russian targets 800 km from its border

Since the beginning of this year, Ukraine has increased the frequency and scope of the attacks it is carrying out on Russian territory against logistics infrastructure. Among others, Russian refineries have been the target of several attacks despite the fact that some of the targets hit are located up to 800 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian media Euromaidan, this campaign has managed to reduce by 7% Russia's fuel production capacity and it has been thanks to the kamikaze drone long-range Liutyi (fierce, in Ukrainian).

This new UAV, whose design is similar to that of the Bayraktar TB2 Turkish-made, is being deployed in large numbers since the beginning of this year. It is described as an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAfor its acronym in English) of medium altitude and long range (MALEfor its acronym in English) designed for autonomous or remotely controlled flight operations and It is made in Ukraine. The Liutyi has stood out for its performance and ability to carry out attacks so deep into Russian territory. Something you can achieve thanks at its range of 1,000 kilometers.

Beyond this aspect, few details have been revealed about its characteristics and the images that exist of the Liutyi are very few. Of some shot down by Russian forces or blurred from the weapon in flight. The clearest and the only one that can be considered more or less official is that of a scale model of the Liutyi that Anna Hvozdiar, one of the deputies of the Minister of Strategic Industries of Ukraine, published on social media.

The Ukrainian defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom announced the development of the Liutyi in October 2022. The company said it intended to create an attack drone weighing more than 200 kg, capable of carrying a 75 kg warhead over a distance of more than 1,000 km. Capabilities similar to those of suicide drones of Iranian origin Shahed-136 that Russia uses in Ukraine.

In June 2023, Ukroboronprom stated that the drone had managed to complete a successful test of its 1,000 kilometer range and in November the Minister of Strategic Industries, Oleksandr Kamyshindeclared that Ukraine had started the mass production of attack drones analogous to Iran's Shahed-136 loitering munitions. Dozens a month of what they called the “ukrainian shahed“and whose real name was not yet known.

Like the Turkish Bayraktar TB2, the Liutyi has a monocoque design in which the external part of it supports the majority of the structural loads. The fuselage is composed of fiberglass and epoxy resinand reinforced with metal mesh and plywood for greater resistance.

This design philosophy minimizes the weight of the UAV and reinforces its structural durability. It has a configuration of high wing which improves its stability and payload integration capacity, facilitating the inclusion of sensors and equipment. The drone is equipped with a fixed-wheel landing gear, indicative of a conventional aircraft launching mechanism through track acceleration.

The most characteristic feature of the Liutyi's design is its V-shaped tail which helps decrease your radar and infrared signature. It also contributes to your aerodynamic efficiencyfacilitating control and maneuverability at different altitudes.

The drone payload is adaptable and equipped to carry electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, laser designators and explosive charges. Operated from a ground control station, the Liutyi supports both inside and outside line-of-sight operations via Satellite communicationallowing a wide range of control.

The Liutyi has a wingspan of 6.7 meters and a length of 4.4 m. It can be used for a wide range of mission profiles and is powered by an internal combustion engine driving a three-bladed rear propeller. This weight distribution probably allows a heavy explosive warhead in the nose.