Leaked documents reveal that Russia, with assistance from Iran, is advancing its drone production capabilities. The effort is based in the Tatarstan region, east of Moscow, and aims to domestically produce 6,000 drones by 2025. This move is seen as a key strategy to address Russia’s shortage of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and to improve its position in the global drone arms race. The project, despite experiencing delays and being heavily reliant on foreign-produced electronic components, has made steady progress in developing a version of the Iranian Shahed-136, a long-range attack drone.
A Secret Collaboration
Russia’s collaboration with Iran, a country under heavy sanctions, has led to the creation of a state-of-the-art drone factory that could potentially alter the balance of power in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Despite the sanctions, the project has managed to source over 90% of the drone system’s computer chips and electrical components from the West, particularly the United States.
While the project faces several challenges, including staffing and sourcing issues, the progress made thus far indicates that Russia could soon be capable of launching hundreds of these drones against Ukrainian targets. This could potentially have a devastating impact on Ukraine’s defensive capabilities and infrastructure.
Read more at The Washington Post.