Guide To Ukraine's Long Range Attack Drones


UPDATED Originally posted Jan 24.

CLICK to Enlarge.

Guide To Ukraine's Long Range Attack Drones

Flag Ukraine Russia’s use of long range drones, principally the Iranian Shahed type, against Ukraine is well documented. These are termed one-way attack drones (OWA-UAVs), or informally as 'Kamikaze drones'. These are used as part of large scale attacks combined with more expensive cruise missiles. While the Shaheds are valid offensive weapons in their own right, they are being used to stretch Ukrainian air defenses and create better chances for the larger cruise missiles.

Ukraine too is increasingly using this type of drone. Like Russia, Ukraine can use OWA-UAVs as part of larger packages to improve the success of cruise missiles.But Ukraine also uses them for very long ranged attacks on strategic targets deep inside Russia. This has several purposes. The targets themselves, such as oil storage sites and airfields, are of strategic importance. These attacks also serve to make the Russian population more aware of the war. And, it stretches Russian air defenses forcing some to be deployed far away from the front lines.

This article will focus on the Ukrainian OWA-UAVs which can strike deep into Russia. It relies on public information; the usual caveats apply.

Mugin-5

Initially Ukraine leveraged commercially available drones such as the Chinese built Mugin-5 (aka Skyeye 5000). These were employed in August 2022 to attack the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea. Other examples struck critical infrastructure. These have been superseded by Ukrainian produced designs.
Mugin-5 drone
Mugin-5 crashed in Crimea, February 2023

Tu-143 Reys / Tu-141 Strizh

The Tupolev Tu-143 'Reys' is a Soviet-era jet-powered reconnaissance drone still in storage with the Ukrainian military. Since the 2022 full-scale invasion it has been weaponised and used as a crude cruise missile. The similar but older and larger Tu-141 'Strizh' has also reportedly been weaponised in the same way, although reports may sometimes mix the two.
Tu-143 Reys drone

UJ-22 Airborne

The Ukrjet UJ-22 Airborne is a single engine drone which can either carry an internal warhead or several air-dropped bombs. Payload is up to 20 kg. It has a traditional light aircraft layout with tractor propeller (i.e. at the front) and simple straight wings and fixed undercarriage. At about 3.7 meters (12 ft) long and a wingspan of 4.2 meters (14 ft) it is one of the largest OWA-UAVs known to be in service. Range is reported as 800 km (500 miles).
UJ-22 Airborne drone
UJ-22 Airborne

The UJ-22 is confirmed to have been employed in attacks on Moscow including in February 2023.

Morok

A sleek-looking OWA-UAV based on the RZ-60 target drone. It has a comparatively shorter range of 300 km and a small warhead of just 3 kg. It is launched with the aid of a rocket and can achieve a respectable 290 kmph.
Morok drone
Morok

UJ-25 Skyline

The UJ-25 Skyline is essentially a weaponized development of the Ukrajet UJ-23 Topaz target drone. It is a jet powered type with generally stealthy lines and distinctive forward swept wings. Few details are available. At least one has been reported in Russia.
UJ-25 Skyline drone
UJ-25 Skyline

UJ-26 Beaver

One of the better known types, the Beaver (Bober) has a distinctive canard layout with sleek fuselage and inverted tail. The type was introduced in 2023 and has reportedly entered mass production. Range is in the order of 1,000 km (620 miles) and payload is reported as 20 kg (44 lb). This type has been used to attack Moscow and other targets in Russia.
UJ-26 Beaver drone
UJ-26 Beaver
UJ-26 Beaver drone
Crashed UJ-26 Beaver in Crimea showing the warhead and fuel tank arrangement.

Lyutyy

Lyutyy is relatively large with a traditional UAV construction. It has a passing resemblance to the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 but not in detail. The design was revealed by Anna Gvozdyar, Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries in November 2022.

It is reportedly a Ukroboronprom product. There are several companies under this umbrella including the famous aircraft manufacturer Antonov. It is apparent from photographic evidence that Lyutyy is related to the pre-war Antonov AN-BK-1 Horlytsia (Turtle Dove) design. It has similar tail and other details which are unlikely to be coincidental. Antonov was previously reported to be developing a heavy strike UAV, and has widely been reported to have switched to drone production after the 2022 invasion.

The Lyutyy has light aircraft-like construction suggesting a higher unit cost, but appears to have a comparatively longer range and greater payload than some other designs.
Ukrainian kamikaze drone
Lyutyy crashed in Nizhny Novgorod, Jan 31 2024, and reference model.

AQ-400 Scythe

The Terminal Autonomy AQ-400 Scythe is a volunteer project which has entered serial production. It has a crude box-like fuselage and tandem wings with distinct end plates on the forward set. Range is slightly shorter than some other types, reported at 750 km (465 miles) but payload heavier at 32 kg (70 lb). Payload can reportedly be increased to some 70 kg (154 lb) with a reduced range.
AQ-400 Scythe drone
AQ-400 Scythe. Note that the undercarriage can be replaced by a dolly or launch rail arrangement.

Y-III

A Turkish-Pakistani project, the Y-III has a long and thin fuselage with unswept wings and uniform tail surfaces. Production is missile-like and relatively complex. Given its small internal volume, range may be shorter than some other designs, but it has been used against targets inside Russia. Separately, the type has also been employed by Pakistan to strike targets in Iran.
AQ-400 Scythe drone
Reference photo of Y-III on display in Pakistan.

Banshee

At least one British-made Banshee target drone has been reported crashed behind Russian lines. The Banshee is a high-performamnce twin jet drone used by the Royal Navy. Further details of weaponization unclear.
Banshee drone

R-15

An unswept-flying wing design with single propeller in tractor (front mounted) configuration and twin tails. This is smaller than most of the other 'long range' drones being only 1.2 meters long, with a wingspan of around 2.4 meters. The type is associated with Ukrainian philanthropist and volunteer Serhiy Prytula. In May 2023 the type was apparently used in an attack on the Ilsky refinery in Krasnodar Krai. Then in March 2024 it appeared again during large-scale attacks involving multiple types.
Ukrainian kamikaze R-15 drone
Example from May 2023

Ukrainian kamikaze R-15 drone
Example observed over Russia March 12 2024.

A22 Foxbat

On April 2 2024 a large drone was filmed diving into a building associated with a factory in Yelabuga, Tatarstan. The factory, which reportedly manufacturers Shahed type drones, is 1,300km (807 miles) from the Ukraine-Russia border. The drone appears to be a weaponized light aircraft. Numerous sources identified the base aircraft as a Ukrainian made Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat ultralight.
A22 Foxbat drone
The final approach was caught on camera. It appears to be a drone using an A22 Foxbat airframe.

Unnamed types

Several drones have been reported in Russia, or shown to the public, but not named.

?1
On December 9 2023 at least two of a new type of drone were found crashed in Russia, and another in March 2024. These have a very simple layout with simple tubular fuselage. The tail surfaces, both vertical and horizontal, are the same, showing that it is designed for cheap manufacturing and ease of assembly. The aft fuselage is made from a hollow pipe and plastic bottles are used as the fuel tanks. A warhead was strapped under the nose just behind the piston engine. This is likely one of a new breed of Ukrainian OWA-UAV optimized for low cost manufacturer.
Ukrainian kamikaze drone

?2
On Feb 7, 2024, a crashed example of the jet powered drone was shared on Russian social media. It is evidently a type of one-way attack drone (OWA-UAV). See main article.
Ukraine's New Jet-Powered Attack Drone
Photographs shared online of the wreck. Note that the lower fuselage is upside down, the intake is on the bottom.

?3
A small jet based design was revealed, with canards and a distinctive triangular tail. Specifications are unclear. The type is in seriel production. Speed reported as 432 km per hour (120 meters per second).
Ukrainian kamikaze drone

?4
In April 2024 the wreck of a twin-boom design was filmed in the Oryol Region of Russia. Photographs of another followed a few days later. The design matches one revealed in a Ukrainian media interview in October 2023. Russian reports suggest a blast-fragmentation 40kg warhead consisting of 25 kg of tetryl high explosive surrounded by 15 kg of steel balls. The model's name and manufacturer is not public.
Ukraine's New twin-boom Attack Drone
Screen shots from a media report on the type, and also a crashed example in Russia.

?5
On Jan 29, 2024 a Ukrainian drone fell at an oil refinery in Yaroslavl, Russia, about 900 km from Ukraine. There are few details but we can deduce its overall layout. It has an inverted-V tail (possibly all-moving) and dihedral wings (rising up at the tips), rather like the smaller Shark UAV, or larger Predator. It has a box-like fuselage and probably has a tractor (front-mounted) propeller. As it crashed, the engine was ripped out and the airframe inverted.
Ukrainian kamikaze drone
Note that it appears upside down

?6
A large drone around with a 'loitering munition' form. It has a 4 meters wingspan and is 2.7 meters long, and is equipped with a 14 kg warhead. Further details unclear.
Ukrainian kamikaze drone

?7 Balloon Bomber
Both Ukraine and Russia have used balloons. In general, the weather systems are likely to favor Ukraine in this area however, allowing very high-altitude attacks. These can be extremely difficult, and expensive, to intercept. The main challenge is navigation however since the balloons are largely at the mercy of the wind.
Ukrainian bomber balloon
Observed Ukrainian types are sausage shaped, floating vertically, with a control unit, GPS tracker and bomb suspended below. A water bottle is also attached to the string. While these appear crude, they are likely to be increasingly sophisticated.

Also of note

Gorgon

Ukrainian drone manufacturer Miltech Group lists the 'Gorgon' OWA-UAV. Range and payload, and operational status is unclear.
Ukrainian kamikaze drone

E-300 Enterprise & D-80 Discovery

Ukrainian manufacturer AeroDrone supplies the E-300 Enterprise & D-80 Discovery drones. Currently neither has been confirmed being used in strategic strikes. The E-300 resembles a light aircraft and is based on the Aeros Skyranger. The ungainly yet functional D-80 Discovery was originally intended for agricultural work.
Ukrainian drone
E-300 Enterprise (left) & D-80 Discovery (right)


Related articles (Full index of popular Covert Shores articles)
Flag Ukraine Flag Hamas Flag Iran Flag Flag Russia World survey of Underwater Attack Drones (OWA-AUVs)
Flag Ukraine's Maritime Drones (USVs)
Flag Flag Flag Israel Flag World survey of Navy Marine Mammal Prorams
Flag Lun Class Ekranoplan (Wings in Ground Effect) w/Cutaway