The first Shahed-136 drones arrived to the Russian Federation from Iran three months ago. This initial batch contained approximately 300 units, most of which have been ‘consumed’.
Oleksiy Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, said in his recent commentary that new contracts for the supply of new kamikaze drones have already been concluded.
Preliminary estimates according to different sources show that Russia may receive well above a thousand Iranian UAVs, with the potential upper end at 2.4 thousand units. This is an approximate number of Shahed-136 drones in Iranian reserves according to intelligence data.
Defense Express notes that Iran should not be regarded as the only source providing drones to the Russian Federation. Shahed-136 are relatively simple in construction and they do not use expensive components. For this reason, there is even a possibility that Russia could set the production lines in its own territory.
Belarus is also one of the potential manufacturers of Shahed-136 – this, of course, is a theoretical assumption for now, because there is no data that Belarus is producing military UAVs for Russian needs.
Experts estimate that Itan’s total production capacity for Shahed-136 is 150 units per month at most. This is not a large capacity in the context of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and this may stimulate creation of new production capacities.