Ukrainian military intercepts kamikaze drone from Russia, revealing modernized warhead technology
Shahed-136 drones are Iranian constructs used by the Russians under the name Geran-2. This type of unmanned aircraft is regularly used to conduct attacks deep into Ukrainian territory, primarily due to the drones' low production costs and high effectiveness.
As reported by the Defense Romania portal, Ukrainians have intercepted a new variant of this Iranian drone. The drone was found in an unknown area, in a condition suggesting that it was intercepted with the help of electronic warfare measures. The Russians' Shahed-136 was found almost in perfect condition. This is a valuable find for the defense forces, as it will allow them to closely inspect the technology used in the ammunition originating from Iran, aiding in the development of more precise tools to eliminate airborne threats.
The first notable detail about this Shahed-136 is its color. Usually, such drones are gray. However, the captured drone was painted black, indicating a new variant, which has recently started appearing over Ukraine.
The Ukrainians also examined the drone's interior. They managed to identify several changes compared to previously used drones. Defense Romania states that the main differences lie in the construction materials used, the navigation system, and a modernized warhead. The updated Shaheds also contain Russian receivers known as Kometa, which are created for smaller drones (like the Orlan-10) and are intended to be a solution for countering jamming by opponents.
Painting drones black is meant to obstruct visual identification during an attack. This is a significant alteration, especially applicable in actions carried out in poor lighting conditions. Moreover, changes in the new drone variant include the introduction of improved frames featuring composite elements filled with foam-like materials.
It's worth noting that the Shahed-136 is 11.5 ft long with a wingspan of 8.2 ft. Its total weight is up to 440.9 lbs, while the flying ammunition's warhead weighs up to 110.2 lbs. The relatively low weight of the drone enables it to have a range of approximately 621.4 miles, although some sources claim the range could be as much as 1553.4 miles.