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(VIDEO) Russia Showcases Its “Shahed” Kamikaze Drone Manufacturing Plant

(VIDEO) Recently, Russian military Telegram channels have aired footage of a factory producing the "Shahed" kamikaze drones, extensively deployed by the nation in its conflict with Ukraine. Developed by Iran, these lethal drones are also known as "Geranium" or "Geran" in Russia.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Recently, Russian military Telegram channels broadcasted a video of a “Shahed” kamikaze drone manufacturing plant, widely utilized by the country in its conflict with Ukraine.

Originally developed by Iran, these drones are also referred to as “Geranium” or “Geran” by Russia.

The factory producing the “Shahed” drones is believed to be located in Yelabuga, within the Tatarstan region, not far from Moscow.

Russian media estimates that the Yelabuga facility has the capacity to produce up to 1,600 of these daring drones monthly to support the country’s military operations in Ukraine at this time.

Russian experts are believed to have modified and enhanced the capabilities of the “Shahed” drones to make them more effective in targeting Ukraine, while also making them more difficult to intercept.

The broadcasted video shows workers at the factory completing hundreds of “Shahed” drones, painted in white or black.

Observers suggest that the black coloring could be a coating to make the drones harder to detect by Ukrainian military radar systems.

It’s also possible that Russia deliberately chooses black to allow the drones to infiltrate Ukrainian cities at night more easily, going undetected by both civilian and military eyes.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat previously stated that, in addition to being painted black, Russia has made several improvements to the Iran-supplied “Shahed” drones to ensure their bombing missions in Ukraine are successful.

Among these improvements is the use of carbon composite materials on the drones.

“Carbon is known to absorb radar signals, making it even more difficult for our air defense systems to detect them on radar, while the black color is to confuse our personnel’s vision,” he said, making it harder for armed personnel to shoot down the “Shahed” drones.

From the video, it appears that the country is focusing on producing kamikaze drones of the “Shahed-136” variant, capable of striking targets up to 1,000km away.

Russia reportedly began using Iran-supplied “Shahed” kamikaze drones in September last year to attack Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.

 Iran is reported to have provided technical assistance to Russia for establishing the “Shahed” kamikaze drone manufacturing facility in the town of Yelabuga.

Russia has employed Iranian kamikaze drones such as Shahed-131, Shahed-136, and Mohajer to target various locations in Ukraine, including buildings, public infrastructure like power plants, oil storage facilities, and more.

 U.S. officials have noted that the capabilities of various Iran-made drones have significantly increased since 2014, starting from their use by Tehran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen for attacks against Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas facilities to drone strikes on commercial ships traversing the Persian Gulf waters.

Although these Iranian kamikaze drones are noted for their low accuracy, they have been “terrifying” to Ukrainian military and civilians from a psychological perspective.

Shahed
Shahed

 

The Iranian drones have also been said to compensate for the shortage of weapons and ammunition experienced by Russian forces due to the high-intensity conflict ongoing for more than a year.

 Dubbed “mopeds” or “scooters” due to their distinct buzzing sound, the Shahed-136 drones developed by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing (HESA) are capable of flying distances between 1,000km and 2,200km.

These kamikaze drones are equipped with a 50kg explosive charge at their tip.

 The Shahed-136 has an overall length of 3.5 meters, weighs 200kg, and its Chinese-made engine allows it to fly at speeds of up to 185km per hour. — DSA

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