In today’s SOFREP Pic of the Day, we see an M1 Abrams main battle tank, purportedly in use by the Ukrainians and knocked out by the Russians.

For more reference, here is the entire image.

The orange text reads, “awaiting updates.”

This image was supposedly taken near Avdiivka this month, February 2024. We can clearly see that the hatches are open. It may have been knocked out by Russian artillery or a Lancet munition.

The Lancet

The Russian Lancet munition is a loitering munition or “kamikaze drone” developed and produced by the ZALA Aero Group, part of the Kalashnikov Concern, one of Russia’s leading defense manufacturers. Loitering munitions like the Lancet are designed to bridge the gap between traditional drones and guided missiles, offering a blend of surveillance and direct-strike capabilities.

Key Features

  • Autonomy: The Lancet operates autonomously, using onboard guidance systems to navigate towards its target. It can be pre-programmed before launch or guided during flight via a secure communication link.
  • Precision: It is capable of precision strikes against stationary or moving targets, making it suitable for engaging fortified positions, armored vehicles, artillery, and even low-speed aerial targets.
  • Loitering Capability: The Lancet can loiter in the target area, allowing it to wait for the optimal moment to strike or to be redirected as needed. This makes it particularly effective for dynamic battlefields where targets may not be immediately identifiable or accessible.
  • Warhead Options: It comes with different warhead sizes, catering to various mission requirements, from anti-personnel and anti-vehicle roles to more specialized tasks.
  • Stealth and Speed: Designed to be hard to detect and intercept, the Lancet has a small radar cross-section and can conduct high-speed terminal attacks to evade air defenses.


There are known to be multiple variants of the Lancet, including but not limited to the Lancet-1 and Lancet-3, which differ in size, payload capacity, range, and intended use case. The larger variants can carry more significant payloads over longer distances, while smaller ones are more suited for tactical, close-range engagements.

Operational Use

The Lancet has been reported to be used in various conflict zones, including Syria and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Its deployment has demonstrated the growing importance of loitering munitions in modern warfare, offering forces the ability to conduct precision strikes with minimal risk to personnel and at a lower cost than traditional air strikes or missile systems.

Strategic Implications

The development and deployment of systems like the Lancet reflect a broader trend in military technology towards unmanned systems and the increasing role of autonomous and semi-autonomous platforms in combat operations. Their use raises important questions about the future of warfare, including the ethical and legal implications of autonomous lethal systems.