According to the journalists from The Washington Post, the Russian military has received the first batch of Iranian UAVs Mohajer-6 and Shahed, but already encountered the first major technical problems.
Based on the available information, the transport planes with the first batch of UAVs left Iran on August 19. Two types of drones were on board: Mohajer-6 and Shahed, which are capable of carrying weapons and ammunition for attacks on radars, artillery, and other military targets.
The drone purchase agreement with Iran was sought by Russia as a fast way to replenish their dwindling stock of UAV reserves. Furthermore, Russian-made unmanned aerial systems demonstrate rather poor performance. It is also difficult to produce new units amidst the global ban on the delivery of critically important electronic components.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces, by contrast, are able to achieve an extremely high efficiency in using nearly all types of drones to destroy huge numbers of Russian heavy armored vehicles and military objects, especially with the Turkish-made Bayraktar unmanned combat aircraft.
The first delivery of purchased drones resulted in a somewhat ‘spoiled mood’ for the Russian side. According to U.S. officials who refer to the military intelligence resources, the Iranian UAVs encountered numerous failures and technical issues during the first field tests conducted by the Russian army.
Iran has a certain amount of experience in developing military drones. These unmanned vehicles, however, have not been tested in wide-scale combat activities similar to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Interestingly, on August 30, Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia “did not buy any Iranian UAVs”. According to him, foreign mass media misinform readers with reports about drone purchases. At the same time, he emphasizes that relations with Iran will continue to develop.