British Defence Intelligence: Iranian kamikaze drones are not at the level of Russia’s expectations

Drones apparently sourced from Iran are being used by Russia in Ukraine – but they might not be all they are cut out to be, as reported by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The UK’s defence department has been releasing daily updates on the war, and they often highlight struggles on the Russian side as part of an apparent information war between the West and the Kremlin.

Today they have focused on Shahed-136 drones from Iran, which, they say, were used as part of Monday’s bombardment of Ukraine.

These UAVs are slow and fly at low altitudes, making lone aircraft easy to target using conventional air defences. There is a realistic possibility that Russia has achieved some success by attacking with several UAVs at the same time.

The MoD statement continued: “Despite a reported range of 2,500 km, the Shahed-136 only has a small explosive payload. It is unlikely to be satisfactorily fulfilling the deep strike function which Russia probably aspired to use it for. With Russian tactical combat jets still achieving limited effect over Ukrainian territory, the lack of a reliable, sustainable, and accurate operational-level strike capability is likely one of Russia’s most significant capability gaps in Ukraine.

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