On April 16, forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) shot down a Russian-made ZALA 421-16Е2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the town of Ain Zara to the south of the capital, Tripoli.
Col. Muhammad Quanguo, a spokesman for GNA forces, claimed that the Libyan National Army was operating the downed UAV. According to the spokesman, the UAV was on a target acquisition mission over Ain Zara.
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) April 18, 2020
The ZALA 421-16Е2 was developed by the ZALA Aero Group, a subsidiary of Russia’a defense giant Kalashnikov Concern. The UAV, which uses an electric motor, has a range of 50 km and an endurance of up to 3 hours.
The UAV downed near Ain Zara was equipped with the Z-16ВКHD or the Z-16IK35 electro-optical systems, also made by Zala Aero Group.
In the last few years, several Russian-made drones were shot down over Libya. GNA sources claim that the UAE is buying these drones from Russia and shipping them to the LNA. However, this is yet to be confirmed.