Russia Deploys Drones with Latest Iranian Glide Bombs

A downed drone found in the Kursk region of Russia was equipped with Iran’s newest guided aerial bomb, revealing deepening military ties between Moscow and Tehran.

Julian Röpke, a military analyst for the German news outlet Bild, reported that the wreckage of an Iranian Mohajer-6 drone was discovered after an apparent crash on Sunday. 

Analysis of video footage from the site revealed that the drone was armed with a Qaem-5 guided bomb, a recent development in Iranian weapons technology. The incident represents the first documented use of the weapon in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Mohajer-6, primarily used by Russian forces for aerial surveillance, is believed to have been en route to the Sumy region for an attack before its unexpected crash, the cause of which remains unclear.

The Qaem-5 is part of a broader series of air-to-ground munitions designed specifically for compatibility with Iranian UAVs like the Mohajer-6 and Hamaseh. These bombs come in various forms, including laser-guided and infrared variants, with the Qaem-5 and Qaem-9 employing TV guidance systems that may also feature low-light capabilities.

Iran’s Qods Aviation Industries manufactures the Mohajer-6, which has been in mass production since 2018 and is noted for its export success. The drone has a wingspan of 10 meters and is powered by either a Rotax engine or an indigenous variant, boasting capabilities suited for both reconnaissance and combat roles.

The event underscores the deepening military ties between Tehran and Moscow, evidenced by the transfer of weapons systems including kamikaze drones and now, potentially, ballistic missiles.

International concern has grown over Iran’s role in bolstering Russia’s military operations in Ukraine. Since mid-2022, Iran has provided Russia with over a thousand Shahed UAVs, which have been extensively used to target civilian areas and infrastructure across Ukraine. 

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