NewsUkrainian long-range drones strike deep into Russian territory

Ukrainian long-range drones strike deep into Russian territory

Drone Lyuty attacking a Russian refinery
Drone Lyuty attacking a Russian refinery
Images source: © X | ASTRA

2:37 PM EDT, May 17, 2024

Everything became clear – it's now known what the Ukrainians used to strike the Russian refinery in the city of Tuapse during the latest attack. They utilized their most advanced weapon, capable of reaching long distances, to hit the target several hundred miles from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian army is increasingly carrying out major attacks on Russian positions. Just in the last few days, a barrage of ATACMS missiles struck the airport in Belbek, causing significant damage. The follow-up attack came swiftly. This time, the Ukrainians targeted the refineries in Tuapse and Novorossiysk in the Krasnodar Krai region.

Notably, these refineries are located several hundred miles from areas where the Ukrainian forces have operational freedom. Parts of southern Ukraine are currently occupied by Russia, complicating efforts to strike deep within the Russian Federation.

Therefore, it can be assumed that Ukrainian drones had to travel at least 373 miles (600 km) to reach the refineries in Krasnodar Krai from a secure position. A video posted by the Ukrainian Front profile on platform X shows that the Ukrainian armed forces indeed possess tools capable of covering such long distances. In the attack on the refinery in Tuapse, the drone used was the Lyuty UAV, which can travel over 621 miles (1,000 km).

Attacks deep into Russia are not a problem for Ukrainians

The Ukrainians already have an increasingly sizable arsenal of long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). One of the latest such devices is the Lyuty – a weapon unveiled in the autumn of 2022. Ukroboronprom does not disclose the specific specifications of this drone; however, it is known that its range exceeds 621 miles (1,000 km), and the warhead weight is about 110-165 pounds (50-75 kg). The total weight exceeds 441 pounds (200 kg), and a wingspan of 13 feet (4 meters) suggests that the Lyuty is a response to Iranian Shahed-136 drones.

The Euromaidan Press explains that the Lyuty (one of the newest Ukrainian designs) is powered by a single gasoline engine, likely a Hirth F-23 unit with 50 hp or its modification. The drone's accuracy is assured by an "advanced satellite-inertial guidance system," allowing the UAV to navigate fully autonomously over long distances, making it much more resistant to interference than traditional systems supported solely by satellite signals.

The manufacturer utilized a fuselage made of fiberglass, epoxy resin, and a metal mesh to enhance efficiency and maximize range. The aerodynamic design, with a V-tail mounted on long struts, also plays a significant role. The Lyuty drone has fixed landing gear that cannot be retracted during flight.

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