Sep 23, 2022
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Iranian “Shaheeds” in Ukraine staged a real hell for NATO equipment

In the photo: unmanned aerial vehicle - Shahed-129

Photo: Shahed-129 unmanned aerial vehicle (Photo: Sobhan Farajvan/Keystone Press Agency/Global Look Press)

Iranian Shahid drones carry out a combat mission along the entire line of contact – and this is hundreds of kilometers. On combat duty, Iranian equipment is under the Russian name “Geran”. Kyiv generals are tearing their hair: “suicide bombers” made a real hell for NATO equipment.

Cam McMillan: Iranian drones are the most advanced weapons of today

Over the past week, Iranian kamikaze drones have dealt crushing blows to Ukrainian gangs in the Kharkiv, Nikolaev, and Dnepropetrovsk regions. The Ukrainian command notes that drones make combat sorties almost daily.

The armed forces of the Russian Federation use “Geran” against heavy equipment: armored personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery installations are destroyed. In the north-east of the Kharkiv region, occupied by the forces of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, drones destroyed the “three axes” installation. And in Ochakov (Nikolaev region) “Geran” destroyed the port tug.

NATO officers consider the Iranian “Shaheeds” a serious threat to the Ukrainian army. US Army Captain Cam Macmillanwho served in Iraq, considers Iranian drones one of the most advanced types of weapons – the military writes about this in a column for 19 Forty Five.

McMillan reports that while serving in Iraq, many of his fellow soldiers also underestimated the threat of Iranian drones. However, it soon became clear how vulnerable the American air defense system was to them.

— Iranian drones have regularly attacked American and coalition forces in the Middle East. Drones have slipped through heavy American defenses many times and hit targets at American bases. In Ukraine, these weapons pose an even greater threat than the one faced by US forces and their allies in the Middle East, says McMillan.

Iranian drones have proven themselves during numerous wars in the Persian Gulf countries. Shahid drones have repeatedly attacked military targets and infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE. In particular, in February 2018, an Iranian drone launched from Syrian territory was shot down over Israeli territory.

In January 2019, it was the Shahid that the Houthi rebels (they are considered Iran’s proxies) tried to use to attack a government convoy.

Iranian intelligence agencies disarmed and stunned the Americans

The Iranian unmanned program received intensive development in 2011. Then the Iranian special services carried out a brilliant operation, stealing an American reconnaissance drone RQ-170.

The Americans flew with impunity over the territory of Iran, taking aerial photographs. And during another such flight near the city of Kashmar, Iranian military hackers hacked into an American drone and forced it to land.

The Pentagon, to save face, announced that the drone was shot down by Iranian air defenses. Iran filed a complaint with the UN in connection with the violation of its airspace. And at the same time he began to study the drone, taking it apart piece by piece.

Shortly after the capture of the drone, a copy of it appeared under the name Shahed 171 Simorgh (it is produced in two versions: reconnaissance and assault). And soon a more simplified version of Shahed Saegheh was created.

The drones are produced by the Iranian Aircraft Industrial Company. And the main buyer is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Complex (IRGC).

Russia allegedly bought 3 types of drones – Shahed-129, Shahed-136 and Shahed-191, writes Captain Macmillan.

Shahed-136 is the so-called loitering ammunition: the drone independently tracks down the target and undermines it.

Shahed-129 and Shahed-191 are drones that can perform reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, as well as deliver guided munitions with a range of approximately 1500 and 1700 km, respectively.

Ukraine will not last long against the technological superiority of the Russian Armed Forces

Several design features make Iranian drones virtually invulnerable, Captain McMillan says.

Due to their small radar cross section, relatively low speed, and low altitude, Iranian drones are exceptionally difficult to track on radar. After all, they do not have the characteristics of manned aircraft, for which most modern air defense systems were developed.

Even if Ukrainian forces manage to identify and track Iranian drone systems, they are difficult to shoot down. For the same reasons they are hard to spot on radar. They are not manned aircraft and most air defense systems were not designed to destroy them.

US forces in the Middle East have spent years building an effective defense against Iranian kamikazes. Ukraine does not have such an opportunity.

“Ukrainian troops don’t have the luxury of being in fixed, static defensive positions where they are almost entirely focused on defense by force. They cannot deploy the necessary air defense assets and have assets and personnel at their disposal at all times,” Macmillan states.

And he recalls that in addition to drones, Ukrainian troops attack with all other types of weapons – from missiles to aircraft. With such an attack power, Ukraine will not last long.

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