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A new leak, possibly from hacker groups, has shed light on Russia’s ongoing efforts to localize and potentially improve the production of Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones. These drones have been used extensively by Russia in its attacks on targets in Ukraine.

The leaked documents reportedly center around the Alabuga special economic zone in central Russia, where a dedicated production facility for the Shahed-136 is being established. This suggests Russia’s commitment to moving beyond relying solely on Iranian imports for these drones.

A key finding from the leak pertains to Russia’s potential modification of the Shahed-136’s warhead. The documents reportedly indicate that Russia is developing variants with a significantly increased payload capacity.

  • Standard Warhead: The existing Shahed-136 typically carries a 50-kg high-explosive warhead.
  • Enhanced Payload: The leaked information suggests Russia is working on a nearly doubled warhead, potentially reaching 90 kg.

While the leak offers insights, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of such information. The effectiveness of Russia’s alleged warhead modifications and the extent of their deployment remain to be seen

It is unclear from the leak how far along Russia is in developing and deploying these modified Shahed-136 drones. However, this development points towards Russia’s continued reliance on and potential modification of Iranian drone technology.