Iran and Russia want to build a factory in Russia that will produce over 6,000 Iranian-designed drones for the Ukraine war. According to European Truth, The Wall Street Journal writes about this with references to officials from a country that has allied relations with the United States.
According to officials, a high-ranking Iranian delegation flew to Russia in early January to inspect the proposed plant site and discuss project details. According to them, both countries are working to develop a faster drone that will pose new challenges to Ukrainian air defence.
According to the publication, the negotiations became concrete after the Iranian delegation visited the Russian city of Yelabuga on January 5. They looked at the empty lot where both countries’ leaders intend to build a new plant.
The Iranian delegation was led by Brigadier General Abdullah Mehrabi, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Jihad Research and Self-Reliance Organization, and Ghasem Damavandian, head of Iran’s Quds Aviation Industry, a key defence manufacturer that the US believes plays a key role in the country’s drone development and creation.
Until now, Iran has primarily supplied Russia with so-called kamikaze drones known as the Shahed-136, which are armed with small amounts of explosives that detonate when the drones strike a target.
Russia is attacking Ukraine’s energy systems with drones. As a result, the Ukrainian Air Defense was able to effectively neutralise the threat posed by unmanned aircraft. Because the Shahed-136 is a slow-moving and noisy propeller-driven drone, it is fairly easy to detect and shoot down.
According to officials, Iran is currently working with Russia to develop the Shahed-136, which will be equipped with a new engine that will allow it to fly faster and farther. The improved drone will be produced by the new plant. This could cause new issues for Ukraine and other countries that could become drone targets.
Because the plant has not yet been built, the production line is not expected to have an immediate impact on Ukraine’s power balance.
As a reminder, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on eight high-ranking officials of an Iranian drone manufacturer on February 3 in response to Tehran’s supply of drones to Russia for its war against Ukraine.