An Iranian Shahed-136 combat UAV has been shot down over Ukraine giving credence to American claims that Iran has been supplying drones to Russia.
A Ukrainian officer posted an image of the destroyed Iran-made drone in Kupiansk city, Kharkiv Oblast, on September 13. The remains of the device show Cyrillic inscriptions – М214 Geran-2.
Analysis of the wing elements hint that the aircraft could be the Shahed-136 kamikaze UAV, which, as per reports, has a range of about 2,000km.
At the end of 2021, Tehran demonstrated the multiple launch possibility of these loitering munitions from a launcher disguised as a cargo car container.
Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hussein Salami recently confirmed that the country has sold homegrown weapons to foreign customers, “including some major world powers.” He did not name which countries bought Iranian military equipment and the type of weapons sold.
The U.S. believes Russia is deploying Iran-made drones against Ukraine. In July, U.S. President's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that Iran is allegedly preparing to provide Moscow with several hundred UAVs, including attack UAVs, in an accelerated manner.
“We have information that indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to hand over to Russia several hundred UAVs, including attack ones, in an expedited manner," Sullivan noted.
Iran has produced several drones including the Mohajer-6, Shahed-129, and Shahed-191, some of which have been used to attack military bases of the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, oil refineries and other facilities. They were seen in military conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
As per flight tracking portal Flightradar, at least three flights of large cargo planes from Iran to Russia were spotted over recent weeks.
Sources in the U.S. government told CNN in August that intelligence about the training was recently declassified. "For the past few weeks, Russian officials have been conducting training in Iran as part of the agreement on the transfer of UAVs from Iran to Russia," the newspaper reported, citing an American official familiar with the situation.