Iranian satellite to spy on Ukraine as Russia strengthens ties with Tehran
Iran has become one of the main manufacturers of armed drones. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to Tehran for a trilateral meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ahead of the meeting, officials said Putin would seek Iran’s support for its war and the supply of drones.
Western intelligence said Russia lost many of its drones in the first weeks of the war. He also said that most Russian Orlan drones are intended for reconnaissance missions rather than attack missions.
Drones played a major role in the Ukraine-Russia war.
Turkish-made Ukrainian Bayraktar drones hit Russian tanks and ships with missiles, while commercial drones dropped hand grenades through tank hatches.
One of the best drones around
Iran’s Shahed 129 drone – a large unmanned vehicle capable of firing anti-tank missiles and transmitting images and video – is considered one of the best on the market.
Modeled after the American MQ-1 Predator and the Israeli Hermes 450, it has a wingspan slightly shorter than the length of a London bus and can fly at around 100 miles per hour up to a range of 130 miles.
Experts have described the Shahed 129 as “highly capable” and “the backbone” of Iran’s drone fleet.
Russian officials have not commented, but pro-Kremlin Russian military analysts have raised the potential impact of the Shahed 129.
Gennady Alekhin, a Russian military analyst, said they could be transferred to rebel units in Donetsk.
“If the people’s militia receives its long-range attack drones [and that] power and precision of destruction, then the situation on the front line could change dramatically,” he told the Gazeta.ru news site.