The first Russian-made Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones are already being used by the Russian armed forces for airstrikes against targets in Ukraine. The drones were used in one of the latest attacks on targets in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
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Iran has denied that it has an agreement with Russia to export production of the Shahed drones. The reason for this was that earlier in the year, information appeared about a similar deal, which BulgarianMilitary.com wrote about.
However, the two countries failed to hide the information. In July, according to US intelligence, the Iranian-Russian drone factory was already operational. Sources claim that it is located in Tatarstan, a Russian republic, and is being managed by Albatross, a company known for its agricultural drone technology. However, they are suspected to have shifted towards military applications.
Russian and Iranian Shahed differences
Undoubtedly, the new Russian-Iranian drones will be of interest to future research. However, information is already emerging that the Russian Shahed drones will be much more difficult to intercept.
The reason is in the new Kometa-M antenna system integrated into the Russian Shahed. In the latest attack on Kyiv, Ukrainian sources have established that the Russian Shahed is already using this antenna. There is photographic evidence of this from some drone wreckage.
Kometa-M replaces Iran’s CRPA satellite dish, which until now was integrated into Shahed. The Russian antenna system is much more advanced and according to various opinions, “this is bad news for us [Ukrainians – ed.] because Kometa-M is more resistant to our RB than the antennas of the Iranian Shaheds,” Ukrainian Telegram user wrote in its post.
The Russian Kometa-M antenna system is a highly advanced and sophisticated technology that provides a range of capabilities. One of its primary functions is to enable long-range communication in both civilian and military applications.
It is designed to operate in a wide frequency range, allowing for reliable and secure communication over vast distances. The antenna system is capable of transmitting and receiving signals in various modes, including voice, data, and video, making it versatile and adaptable to different communication needs.
Kometa-M bypasses EW
In terms of bypassing the enemy’s electronic warfare [EW], the Kometa-M antenna system employs several techniques. One of the key features is its ability to rapidly change frequencies and modulation schemes, which makes it difficult for the enemy to detect and jam the signals. By constantly shifting frequencies, the system can avoid being targeted by enemy EW systems that rely on fixed frequencies for detection and disruption.
Furthermore, the Kometa-M antenna system utilizes advanced signal processing algorithms and adaptive beamforming techniques. These technologies allow the system to dynamically adjust its antenna pattern, focusing the transmitted signal towards the intended recipient while minimizing the signal’s exposure to potential jammers.
This adaptive beamforming capability enhances the system’s resistance to enemy EW, as it can quickly adapt to changing jamming conditions and maintain reliable communication.
Another important capability of the Kometa-M antenna system is its ability to operate in a highly secure manner. It incorporates encryption and authentication mechanisms to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the transmitted data. This makes it extremely difficult for the enemy to intercept or manipulate the communication signals, further enhancing its ability to bypass enemy EW.
Not only Shaheds
The new Russian-Iranian plant will not only produce the familiar Shahed kamikaze drones. Various sources claim that Russia will take advantage of Iran’s progress in copying Western weapons systems. Than will retrofit them with Russian, higher-quality technological solutions. Exactly as was the case with the Shaheds of the latest attack on Kyiv.
A facility is believed to have supplied at least 50 Albatros M5 long-range reconnaissance drones to Russia. This facility is near Kazan, a major Russian city known for high-tech manufacturing. Sources suggests that Russian-Iranian drone operations may expand. This is due to an increase in hiring UAV engineers and Farsi-speaking technicians.
Engineered by Iran’s Qods Aviation Industries in an integrative venture with Russia’s United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation, the Iranian Albatros M5 drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) tailored to cater to reconnaissance and surveillance objectives. Epitomizing the embodiment of versatility, this unmanned machine is equipped to execute missions during both, day and night cycles.
The Albatros M5 boasts an impressive range of up to 1,000 kilometers, along with the ability to climb to altitudes of 5,000 meters. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras, offering high-resolution imagery and video-yielding potential. Additionally, the drone holds the capacity for the real-time transmission of data to ground control stations, thereby fostering the feasibility for operators to not only oversee the movements of the drone but also accumulate intelligence instantaneously.
This highly-touted drone has been embraced by the Iranian military for diverse operations, a notable example being its use in Syria. The Albatros M5’s contributions have lent invaluable intelligence to both Iranian and Syrian forces in their strategic undertakings.
Albatross M5’s help for the Russians?
Operated extensively by Russia’s armed forces in the Ukrainian conflict, the Albatros M5 drone emerges as a remarkably progressive example of unmanned aerial vehicles. One of this drone’s salient features lies in its exceptional endurance, retaining an ability to remain airborne for up to an entire day. The prolonged flight time is a strategic advantage, facilitating the long-term surveillance of antagonistic activities and supporting extensive intelligence collection.
Apart from its prowess in reconnaissance, the Albatros M5 carries a varying arsenal, varying from missiles to bombs. The drone’s ability to be armed widens its role from a mere intelligence resource to a tactical weapon, capable of executing precise strikes on enemy fortifications. Such versatility amplifies the drone’s value and significance for the Russian military during the conflict.
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