October 18, 2022

Explainer: Killer Drones Vie for Supremacy over Ukraine

Featuring Samuel Bendett

Source: The Associated Press

Journalist Associated Press

According to the Ukrainian online publication Defense Express, which cites Iranian data, the delta-wing Shahed is 3.5 meters (11½ feet) long, 2.5 meters (8 feet, 3 inches) wide and weighs approximately 200 kilograms (440 pounds). It’s powered by a 50-horsepower engine with a top speed of 185 kph (114 mph). The drone has previously been used in Yemen and in a deadly oil tanker attack last year, said Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

And while its range is about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), drone expert Samuel Bendett with the CNA think tank, said the Shahed is being used in Ukraine at much shorter ranges. That’s because its GPS guidance system — which is vulnerable to jamming — isn’t very robust. Shaheds are known to have been controlled via radio under the Iranians. Whether Russia is capable of doing the same in Ukraine is unclear.

Read the full story and more from The Associated Press.

Authors

  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves research on the ...