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Russia launches production of analog to Iranian Shahed drone

Russia launches production of analog to Iranian Shahed drone Russia is developing a budget-friendly counterpart to the Iranian drone Shahed (photo: Ukrainian Ministry of Defense)

The Russian design bureau Stratim has launched a budget alternative to the Iranian drone Shahed, named Yastrub. The drone has a flight range of 350 kilometers and a combat payload of 800 kilograms, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The design bureau Stratim has indicated that Russian forces will use the UAV Yastrub as a decoy to divert Ukrainian air defense systems. This tactic aligns with previous strategies employed by Russian forces during a series of strikes on Ukraine.

Flight testing of the prototype is currently underway, and it is planned to commence flight trials of the finalized product in the first half of 2024.

According to the ISW report, on January 18, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the State Machine-Building Design Bureau Raduga in the Moscow region, a subsidiary of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation (KTRV).

Previously, Shoigu tasked the enterprise with increasing the range of flight for the unspecified weapon from 250 kilometers to over 300 kilometers. The CEO of KTRV, Boris Obnosov, reported that the enterprise has already tested the weapon with a flight range of 310 kilometers.

Obnosov also noted that Raduga reduced the production cost of this weapon and increased its warhead from 450 to 800 kilograms.

The CEO of State Machine-Building Design Bureau Raduga, Sergey Bogatikov, stated that the enterprise has doubled its staff, acquired new testing equipment and tools, expanded production facilities, and implemented 12-hour shifts, allowing for round-the-clock work and increased production volumes.

Bogatikov's statements and certain facts suggest that since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the State Machine-Building Design Bureau Raduga has increased the production volumes of precision weapons by eight times.

Use of drones in Russia's war against Ukraine

On the night of January 18, the aggressor attacked Ukrainian territory using 33 combat drones and two S-300 missiles. Ukrainian Air Defense Forces successfully intercepted and destroyed 22 enemy drones.

Earlier, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that Ukrainian drones and artillery were complicating logistics for Russian Forces in the Donetsk region.

The United States accused Iran of falsehood in denying the supply of Shahed drones to Russia.