Deadlier Than Shahed-136, Ukraine Says Iran Now Selling Its 2000 Km Range Arash-2 Drones To Russia

Ukraine has so-called Russia has now purchased an even more sophisticated Iranian drone, the Arash-2, with some Ukrainian military observers claiming Iranian experts are advising Russia on the ground.

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Russia has already made significant use of the Shahed-136 drone in harassing Ukrainian military and militarily-affiliated civilian infrastructure, despite the loss of many to anti-aircraft fire.

Iran, meanwhile, continues to officially deny any involvement in arms sales. Yet unnamed officials have been quoted by Reuters confirmation of the transfer of Fateh-110 and Zolfagar surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, Iran has clarified that it will not sell Arash-2 to Russia over fears that its technology will fall into US hands.

Iran’s Arash-2 Drone Takes Off During Iran Army Tests

Advanced than even Shahed-136?

Commentators on Russian social media described the ‘Arash-2’ as a “literal” cruise missile, but with a slower flight speed, which allowed the drone to patrol over the target.

There is not much information about the Arash-2, but it is known that it can hit targets at a distance of up to 2000 kilometers and has a significantly larger warhead than the Shahed-136.

It was only unveiled in September this year, and observers said it is intended to hit Israeli targets in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

“Iran can deliver its early version, Arash-1, to the RF forces, if the order itself has already taken place,” a Russian national who regularly commented on Russian military issues told the EurAsian Times on Telegram.

“In addition, it is unlikely that the Israeli air defense system, such as the Iron Dome, will be able to intercept it easily, as it has mainly worked against unguided, crude Hamas missiles. This guided missile can maneuver, change direction and fly low.

I am sure that Russia has agreed to help Iran improve its missile and drone technology in exchange for Iran to fill the Russian gap in cheap, mass-produced, replaceable drones and medium-range ballistic missiles,” the Russian defense observer said. .

However, squadron leader Vijainder K Thakur doubted the Arash-2’s maneuvering capabilities. “There is no evidence that Arash-2 can maneuver, change direction and fly low. If it’s jet-powered, it’s probably going at medium altitude for the best range. It may have dropped to lower levels on the home run to avoid early radar detection.

The ability to maneuver and change direction would imply a sophisticated navigation system that would increase costs. In such a case it would be as expensive as a Russian Calibr. A higher speed of the jet-powered rocket would make it less vulnerable to AD fire,” he explains.

Arash-2 drone

US and Ukraine nervous

US State Department spokesman Ned Price on October 19 said the US had joined the UK and France in increasing sales of Iranian UAVs to Ukraine in the UN Security Council.

Price added that Russia’s acquisition of these weapons violates UN Security Council Resolution 2231. But the statement could also be evidence of the effectiveness of Iranian UAVs, especially the Geran-2 ammunition hanging around.

General Kenneth MacKenzie, the former head of US Central Command (CENTCOM), recognized their effectiveness in an interview with a US news channel.

“If you launch enough, the theory is that you can overcome air defenses because they fly at low altitudes and they are very cheap to produce,” adding that Iran produces “thousands” of them.

To put things in perspective, the Russian Kalibr cruise missile costs about $1 million and the Tomahawk cruise missile costs about $2 million. Depending on the options, drones like the Shaheed-136 and Arash-2 cost between $10,000 and $50,000.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) also said: “Russia will likely continue to use its relationship with Iran to circumvent sanctions, although it is doubtful whether Russian forces will use the Arash-2 to more effect than they have used the Shahed-136 model.”

While larger systems such as the S-300, Buk and Osa are practically useless against these drones, Russian platforms such as Strela-10, Tunguska and Tors were at the disposal of Ukraine’s armed forces and could be effective against UAVs.

However, many of them are said to have been destroyed by Russia. MANPADS, meanwhile, are ineffective, whose homing heads cannot capture drones because they do not emit an infrared or radar frequency.

It is believed that Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners are firing MANPAD “fireballs” from various missiles, which sometimes manage to bring down the Geran, but this may be at the expense of missile expansion.

Russia makes statement with Iranian drones

Iranian supplies of drones and missiles to Russia also bolster Russia’s argument that it may receive weapons from its ally if NATO and the US can arm Ukraine. Thus, the West cannot complain that Iran is becoming a party to the conflict, as the West, according to Moscow, has long been a direct party to the arming of Ukraine before and after the war.

Moreover, Russia only started receiving Iranian weapons seven months after the war, and that too for only a few hundred thousand dollars worth of cheap drones. On the contrary, the US has been arming Ukraine since 2014 with nearly $10 billion worth of highly advanced weapons.

Not to mention the unofficial presence of NATO and US advisers, private mercenaries on the ground, and US intelligence used by Ukraine to attack the Russian military.

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