Russia is attempting to significantly increase its production of strike drones, particularly the Shahed model that has terrorized Ukraine’s cities, spokesperson of Ukraine’s Air Force Yuriy Ihnat said on Thursday on TV air.
Ihnat stated that Ukrainian intelligence points to Russia boosting its drone manufacturing, likely with ongoing assistance from Iran.
“If production lines are set up, assembly conveyors for the same Shahed drones, then spare parts remain spare parts, so obviously they will continue to use Iran to get technologies they can’t produce themselves,” Ihnat remarked.
He noted September saw record numbers of Iranian-designed kamikaze drones deployed by Russia against Ukraine. Whereas Russia launched around 1,000 such drones in the previous heating season, September alone saw nearly 500. Russia has increasingly targeted port infrastructure, agriculture facilities, military sites, warehouses, and airfields with coordinated waves of up to 30 drones at a time, Ihnat said.
As was reported earlier, Russia started domestic production of Iran-supplied Shahed drones no later than July 2023, using Iranian technology as well as some Russian modifications.
Ukraine has partially adjusted to the Russian attacks by Shahed, mobile firing units with machine guns and relatively cheap air defense systems to shoot them down. However, the defense against Shaheds still requires many servicemen and equipment, while some drones penetrate Ukraine’s defense and hit their targets.