Russia has apparently signed a new contract with Iran to supply Arash-2 drones. They are allegedly faster and more destructive than Shahed-136 drones, which the Russian invaders are already actively using in Ukraine.
Russian Telegram channels reported “leaked” information from unnamed Iranian sources that Russia has bought an undisclosed number of Arash-2 drones, which are purportedly quicker and more harmful than the Shahed-136 drones that are now in use by Russian troops. The Institute of Study of War analyzed how these new Iranian drones can affect the war.
The Commander of the Iranian Ground Forces, Brigadier General Kiomars Heydari, said in early September that Arash-2 drones have unique long-range capabilities and can target cities in Israel such as Tel Aviv and Haifa from bases in Iran.
For reference. The distance from Iran to the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa is more than 2 thousand kilometers. This is quite a lot for drones.
The information that Russia continues to rely on Tehran for the supply of drones coincides with the report of the US Treasury Department. It says that the aggressor country is rapidly increasing the supply of microelectronics, which is critical for the military-industrial complex, as it cannot replace key components that are unavailable due to sanctions.
How will Arash-2 drones affect the war?
Russia is likely to continue to use its relationship with Iran to circumvent sanctions. However, ISW study says that it is very unlikely that Russian troops will leverage the Arash-2 drones to any bigger effect than they managed to achieve with the Shahed-136 drones.
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odessa regional administration, noted that back in September, an Iranian general said that these drones would only be tested and used by Iran against Israel.
“Of course, this does not exclude the possibility of supplying these drones to Russia. But I emphasize that they have not been tested and have not been used in combat conditions”,
– Bratchuk added.
Characteristics of the Arash-2 drones
Arash-2 can detect radar radiation, suppression of air defense systems was one of the tasks of modernization of Kian. This UAV can be launched from a specialized platform and from a container, which provides the possibility of covert transportation and use also from sea platforms.
If necessary, this Iranian drone can be equipped with optical and thermal scanners to capture various types of targets in the field of observation. The announced range of application is 2000 kilometers.