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New Iranian Shahed-136 Drone Variant Presents Greater Threat to Ukrainian Military

In contrast to the original Shahed-136 drone received from Iran, the modified kamikaze drones now feature powerful jet engines, enabling faster travel to targets and complicating interception by Ukraine's air defense systems.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — A senior Russian military official has revealed that the country’s armed forces are set to deploy the upgraded variant of Shahed-136 kamikaze drone, which is more dangerous and capable in its conflict with Ukraine.

The Shahed-136 kamikaze drone, originally manufactured by Iran, has been supplied to Russia, which has enhanced its capabilities through the integration of cutting-edge technologies and new engines.

In contrast to the original Shahed-136 drone received from Iran, the modified kamikaze drones now feature powerful jet engines, enabling faster travel to targets and complicating interception by Ukraine’s air defense systems.

Previously, Ukrainian military officials had stated that Iran’s kamikaze drones used by Russia were easily brought down by Ukrainian air defence system due to their low-speed piston engines, characterized by loud noise, earning them the derogatory label “moped” or “scooter.”

However, Major General Vladimir Popov, a high-ranking Russian military official, recently stated in an interview with Sputnik TV that the country’s military will deploy the latest variant of the kamikaze drone, named “Shahed-136” or “Geran-2.”

Shahed

He described the latest variant as more “dangerous” and capable, equipped with a jet engine providing a speed of 800 km/h, an improved target tracking system, and larger explosives.

The newest Shahed-136 kamikaze drone to be used by the Russian military is significantly faster than the original Iranian variant, which utilized a piston engine with a speed range of only 180 to 200 km/h.

Furthermore, the updated drone will incorporate GLONASS and infrared tracking systems for more effective target identification.

In addition, Russian authorities reportedly plan to equip the Shahed-136 kamikaze drone with radar system, allowing it to target high-value military assets such as radar facilities and enemy air defense systems.

The jet engine-equipped variant will also be painted black to hinder visual detection by adversaries and subsequent counteraction.

Shahed-136
“Shahed-136”

 

In September, Iran disclosed the development of the latest variant of the Shahed-136 kamikaze drone, named “Shahed-238,” featuring jet engines.

The drone was showcased at a renowned science and technology university in Iran, with three variants equipped with powerful jet engines but differing target tracking systems.

The collaborative enhancements made by Russia, in conjunction with Iran, to the Shahed-136 kamikaze drones will not only pose a significant challenge to Ukraine’s military but also jeopardize its strategic interests. — DSA

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