The American military wants to have more attack drones based on the experience of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.

The US Army has launched the Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance Program, or LASSO for short, to develop kamikaze drones to fight tanks urgently. It is already assumed that the first working samples of drones under this program should be at the disposal of the American military as early as 2024 and that “the first steps of such a program should resemble something already delivered to Ukraine.”

The Pentagon wants to involve several companies in the competition within the framework of this program simultaneously to deliberately stimulate competition and possibly receive even several models of unmanned aerial vehicles as part of LASSO, writes the Defense News portal.

         US military launches a kamikaze drone, September 2020, photo – US Marine Corps
US military launches a kamikaze drone, September 2020, photo – US Marine Corps.


The parameters of the LASSO program are currently declared at the level of general requirements. The drone must be launched from a tubular launcher, carry a “lethal payload,” and be equipped with an infrared sensor and an optoelectronic guidance system. The list of requirements also indicates the ability to hit distant targets and the possibility of direct control during flight.

Separately, it is emphasized that after the delivery of the first samples of drones under the LASSO program for testing by the US military in 2024, there may be another stage of work with the finalization of prototypes. And that, at the same time, “the first steps of LASSO may resemble something already available for sale.”

Switchblade 600

It is already assumed that kamikaze drones under the LASSO program should become additional anti-tank weapons at the disposal of battle groups of infantry brigades of the US Army. And that such a weapon should conceptually resemble something like enlarged kamikaze FPV drones, which should be able to hit targets at a considerable distance from the front line.

The authors of Defense News separately remind us that several hundred Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade kamikaze drones have already been delivered as part of military aid to Ukraine from the United States. And perhaps this reminder can be considered at the same time as an indication of exactly which existing drones can “grow” an anti-tank kamikaze drone under the LASSO program.