A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army’s official website on Sept. 11, 2020, shows an Iranian Simorgh drone during the second day of a military exercise in the Gulf, near the strategic strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. (Iranian Army office/AFP)
Attack drones produced in Iran have entered the conflict on the side of Russia, according to Ukrainian officers, and they are a brand-new, terrifyingly effective weapon.
The Shahed-136 attack drones were the subject of an agreement that Russia and Iran never publicly acknowledged, but a senior Ukrainian military official claimed that during the counteroffensive Kyiv launched earlier this month in the northeast, remnants of the transaction had been found on the ground.
A so-called kamikaze drone with an 80-pound warhead is the lethal weapon. Its deployment outside of the Middle East occurs for the first time in Ukraine.
The employment of the Shahed-136 drones demonstrates that Iran has continued to back Moscow even though it is still largely isolated globally and was even reprimanded only last week by leaders of China and India. As additional governments are enticed to provide weapons, the fight likewise becomes more geopolitically complex.
According to Col. Rodion Kulagin, the commander of artillery operations in the Kharkiv counteroffensive, the Iranian drone destroyed a U.S.-provided M777 howitzer deployed by the Ukrainian military in its first action in Ukraine.
“It blew the triple-seven in half,” Kulagin said. “Instead of firing 100 artillery shells, it’s easier to release one of these drones” to seek a target, he added.
Four soldiers were killed and 16 were injured, he claimed, as a result of six strikes that destroyed howitzers and armored vehicles. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on Russia’s use of Iranian drones.
Even in the midst of Ukraine’s ongoing and generally successful counteroffensive in the northeast, the drones’ presence prompted Kulagin to call on Ukraine’s Western friends to send defenses or a comparable weapon to retaliate right away.
Kulagin commanded, “Give us something like this.”
Already, drones have been essential to the fight. Switchblade drones from the US were given to Ukraine, and a drone was used in an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s command center. Additionally, Ukraine has deployed guided missile-firing Bayraktar TB2 drones of Turkish manufacture.
A flatbed truck’s rear is used to launch the Shahed-136, a delta-wing drone. The launcher and drones were not present on the Russian side of the front, according to Kulagin, who claimed to be unaware of any intelligence reports to that effect. However, he claimed that evidence of the weapon’s usage came from the remains of a drone that allegedly malfunctioned before crashing close to the town of Kupyansk.
According to Kulagin and a Ukrainian artillery officer who saw one of the hits, the weapon appears out of nowhere. According to Kulagin, it is precise enough to strike a self-propelled howitzer close to the turret, where gunpowder is kept, causing additional explosions.
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He said that in such attacks, the drone is completely destroyed after detonation. The Ukrainian military was confident in its conclusion that the drones had been successfully deployed, however, due to eyewitness reports and the type of the explosions, which were unique from the damage produced by artillery fire.
The drone that crashed left behind debris that showed the Russian military had covered up its Iranian markings. According to Kulagin, the drone was mistakenly identified on a winglet as a Russian-made Geran-2 drone.
It’s a really significant issue, he declared. He said, “They will destroy all our weaponry without defenses.”
How many Iranian attack drones Russia has purchased is unknown. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser for the United States, stated in July that Russia sought to purchase several hundred different types of Iranian drones.
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According to Kulagin, the Shahed-136 drones have only been used in northeastern Ukraine thus far. Before the counteroffensive started in August, the first successful attack, on the M777 howitzer, took place close to the village of Chuguyev. He claimed that the other hits happened during the last week or so.
“They are testing them and have concentrated them in this region,” Kulagin said.
Capt. Volodymyr Danchenko, a tracked, armored vehicle that parks momentarily to fire artillery before moving to escape counterattacks, claimed to have seen a strike on a self-propelled howitzer. The Ukrainian military made Capt. Danchenko accessible for a telephone interview.
The drone streaked in and obliterated the howitzer, he said.
“It was not like artillery that hit us before,” he said. “I haven’t met something like this before.”
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Russia Launches “Massive Strikes”, Ukraine “Downs First Iranian Drone”, German Tank “Fear” Slammed
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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