Russia KUB-BLA 'suicide drone' attacks

March 2020

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reports that Russia appears to be using Kalashnikov ZALA Aero KUB-BLA loitering drones in its war with Ukraine.

Per Kalashnikov, KUB-BLAs are able to select and strike targets through inputted coordinates or autonomously, with the system capable of 'real-time recognition and classification of detected objects' using AI, according (pdf) to the Netherlands-based peace organisation Pax for Peace.

Open source intelligence together with images released by the Russian government indicate AI technologies are being used widely in the Russia-Ukraine war, raising concerns about the ethics and accuracy of so-called 'killer robots'.

The Ukrainian air force has also been using Bayraktar TB2 drones during the war to devastating effect.

Operator: Russian Aerospace Forces
Developer:
Rostec/JSC Kalashnikov Concern/ZALA Aero
Country:
Ukraine; Russia
Sector:
Govt - defence
Purpose:
Kill/maim/damage/destroy
Technology:
Drone; Object recognition
Issue:
Lethal autonomous weapons; Ethics
Opacity:
Governance