Russia likely exhausts current stock of Iranian-made drones, says UK intelligence

23 November 2022, 06:14 PM
The stocks of Iranian drones in the Russian Federation are likely to end, British intelligence noted (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev)

The stocks of Iranian drones in the Russian Federation are likely to end, British intelligence noted (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev)

Russia has likely very nearly exhausted its current stock of Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), but will probably seek resupply, the UK’s Defense Intelligence said in an update on Ukraine on Nov. 23.

“Russia can probably procure UAVs from overseas more rapidly than it can manufacture new cruise missiles domestically,” reads the report.

The UK’s Ministry of Defense noted that Russia has likely launched hundreds of Iranian-made UAVs against Ukraine since September. These have been a mixture of one way attack (OWA) UAVs and more traditional reusable armed systems.

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According to the Defense Intelligence, Russia has largely used these weapons against tactical military targets and the Ukrainian electricity grid.

“However, recently Russian commanders likely also wanted Iranian-sourced UAVs to prioritise medical facilities as targets of opportunity, and strike them with guided munitions if identified,” the report says.

The agency emphasized that Russia likely conceived of the UAV campaign to make up for its severe shortage of cruise missiles, but the approach has had limited success. Most UAVs launched have been neutralized, it said.

At the same time, no OWA UAVs strikes have been publicly reported since around Nov. 17, 2022, the Defense Intelligence added.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Air Force said that Russian attacks using Iranian-made suicide drones had recently decreased. This may be related to the availability of weapons, the need for their preparation, as well as weather conditions.

Iran plans to supply Russia with more than 200 suicide drones in November, as reported by Ukrainian intelligence.

U.S. news channel CNN reported on Nov. 1 that Iran was preparing to send Russia approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including short-range ballistic missiles, for use in the war against Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia and Iran have agreed on the transfer of 1,000 pieces of military hardware, including both ballistic missiles and more suicide drones.

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