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Minister: Ukraine has “over five” mass-produced analogs of Russia’s Iranian-made Shahed explosive drones

“We have more than five mass-produced analogs of Shahed-131 [long-range suicide drone]. And there is one type that is analogous to Shahed-136,” Ukrainian minister says, adding that those are mass-produced.
Oleksandr Kamyshin. Credit: Ministry of Strategic Industries

Ukraine’s Minister for Strategic Industries, Oleksandr Kamyshin, says Ukraine is mass-producing “more than five” indigenous analogs of Russia’s Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones.

Russia uses swarms of the cheap yet lethal Shahed drones in its daily air attacks against Ukrainian regions far behind the frontline, and has started to produce them domestically, with the possible strategy of overwhelming Ukraine’s air defenses. Meanwhile, Ukraine has launched domestically-produced long-range drones to reach strategic objects on Russian territory due to the western ban on using their long-range missiles on Russian soil. 

“Speaking about what is called Ukrainian ‘Shahed,’ we have more than five mass-produced analogs of Shahed-131. And there is one type that is analogous to Shahed-136. In this regard, you can choose any of the positions, all these are in mass production,” Kamyshin said at a press conference on 27 December, according to Interfax Ukraine.

The Shahed-131 suicide drone, which Russia calls Geran-1, carries a 15 kg warhead, while the larger Shahed-136 (“Geran-2” in Russia) carries 50 kg of explosives.

Three publicly known Ukrainian analogs of Shahed-131 are the drones UJ-26 Bober, AQ 400 Scythe, and Cobra.

Russia uses swarms of Shahed drones in its daily air attacks against Ukrainian regions far behind the frontline.

Earlier, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Ivan Havryliuk said the country is ramping up the production of one-way attack “kamikaze” drones to compensate for the lack of artillery shells at the front. Defense Minister Rustem Umerov also claimed that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense aims to provide the military with the maximum number of drones as manufacturers work at a “tremendous pace.” 

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