Iranian-Designed Drone Production Site To Be Built Inside Russia
Russia and Iran plan to establish a joint drone manufacturing facility inside Russia, according to a weekend Wall Street Journal report, which comes following US and European efforts to target Iranian-made drones going to Russia with sanctions.
The Iranian kamikaze drones which have for many months now been pummeling Ukraine's energy infrastructure, such as the Shahed-136 drones, cost as little as $20,000 to make. According the WSJ a plant established on Russian soil to ramp up Iranian-designed drone production would result in an additional 6,000 of them rolling of the line, for deployment by Russian forces in Ukraine.
Reportedly the agreement to establish manufacturing operations in Russia was inked with Iran back in November, when the Iranian drones and their devastating attacks in Ukraine were focus of international media attention and condemnation.
But the new plans for a drone factory could result in new, more effective UAVs, reports WSJ further. "As part of their emerging military alliance, the officials said, a high-level Iranian delegation flew to Russia in early January to visit the planned site for the factory and hammer out details to get the project up-and-running," according to the report.
"The two countries are aiming to build a faster drone that could pose new challenges for Ukrainian air defenses, the officials said."
It's also an effort to sidestep what the US administration called its plans to "choke off Iran’s ability to manufacture the drones" as US forces help "Ukraine’s military to target the sites where the drones are being prepared for launch," according to prior statements from officials in The New York Times.
Ukraine receives 6 ‘Shahed catchers’ that will land down Iranian drones before they can reach critical infrastructure— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) January 27, 2023
The systems include radars, jammers, artificial intelligence technologies, and Fortem DroneHunter F700 droneshttps://t.co/hmfEA3dKsG📽️by UNITED24 pic.twitter.com/yboddZppnq
Ukrainian forces regularly announce that their anti-air defenses intercept inbound Iranian drones. This has possibly happened many dozens or perhaps hundreds of times, and yet it remains that the anti-air systems needed for such intercepts are many times more expensive than the relatively cheap but effective drones by comparison.