Russia, with Iran’s help, is constructing a factory to produce attack drones for use in war in Ukraine. “A new drone stockpile orders of magnitude larger” than what Russia could previously acquire from Iran.
Iran helps Russia to build a drone-manufacturing facility in the country that “could have a significant impact on the war in Ukraine once it is completed,” CNN reports.
According to US Intelligence, the drone-manufacturing facility now under construction is expected to provide Russia with a new drone stockpile that is “orders of magnitude larger” than what it has been able to procure from Iran to date.
The plant in Russia’s Alabuga economic zone (it is an industrial and manufacturing economic zone in the Elabuga district of Tatarstan Republic, Russia) is likely to be ready at the beginning of 2024.
“We have information that Russia is receiving materials from Iran to build an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturing plant in Russia. This plant could be fully operational early next year,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said to Voice of America in June.
As per CNN, Russia primarily uses drones to attack critical Ukrainian infrastructure and stretch Ukraine’s air defenses.
In addition, Iran has provided Russia with over 400 Shahed 131, 136 and Mohajer drones – a stockpile that Russia has almost completely depleted.
The US is urging Western companies to more diligently monitor their supply chains for indications that their components are being illegally redirected to aid in the production of these drones.
“Last year (2022) Biden administration initiated a task force to investigate how US and Western components, including American-made microelectronics, were finding their way into Iranian-made drones utilized in Russia,” CNN reports.