According to the Eritrean Press Agency, Eritrea is reported to have received 8 armed Zala KYB drones from Russia on May 7, in addition to the training support of 26 technicians to train local forces. This supply, moreover, would be connected to the opening of a Russian military base near Massawa (the article reports, presumably incorrectly, the city of Afabet, locating it 40 km from Massawa).

The news could thus confirm the rumors related to the definition of agreements between Eritrea and Russia on a more intense military cooperation, aimed in particular at the opening of a Russian naval base on the Red Sea. Such rumors had circulated with some insistence on the sidelines of Foreign Minister Saleh’s visit to Moscow last week, and in previous bilateral talks between the two countries.

The ZALA KYB drone is manufactured in Russia by the Kalashnikov Group and is defined as a “drone-kamikaze” (technically “loitering munition” or “circuiting munition”), as it is designed to hit its targets and destroy itself. This is a newly designed device, which finished its testing phase last year, that is inexpensive and particularly flexible in use.


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