Explainer: Russia Deploys Iranian Drones

October 12, 2022

Weapon Program: 

  • Military


Douglas Barrie

Author's Title: 

Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace


The Iran Primer

Related Country: 

  • Russia
  • Ukraine

What drones has Iran provided to Russia? How many? What are their capabilities? When did they arrive and how quickly did Russia begin to use them?

Iran has apparently provided at least two systems—the Shahed-136 and the Mohajer-6. The Shahed-136 can be described as a direct-attack munition, popularly known as a suicide drone because it explodes on impact. It is a crude and bargain-basement cruise missile with a small warhead, likely in the order of 25 to 30 kilograms (55 to 66 pounds). The Shahed-136 has a claimed maximum range of 2,500 kilometers (or 1,550 miles), but it is almost certainly being used for far shorter engagements. The Mohajer-6 is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can carry small missiles and guided bombs. It has a range of up to 200 kilometers (or 125 miles) and can fly for up to 12 hours. It has the capacity to return to base after firing its payload.


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