An official in a Western country that monitors Iran’s weapons program has told CNN that Iran is about to send approximately 1,000 new weapons to Russia, including short-range ballistic missiles and attack drones.
Ukraine is lacking the means of propulsion
According to CNN sources, the new batch of weapons exported from Iran to Russia includes about 450 UAVs.
The Washington Post first reported on Iran’s plan to send missiles and drones to Russia.
On November 1, 2022, Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, said that Ukraine currently “does not have an effective defense capacity against these surface-to-surface missiles”. “In theory, it’s possible to shoot down those missiles, but with the means in Ukraine’s hands today, it’s very difficult for us to shoot them down,” he said.
On October 18, Reuters quoted two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats as saying that Russia and Iran had reached an agreement on October 6 under which Iran will supply Russia with ballistic missiles. land to earth. At that time, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and two senior officials of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and an official from the Supreme National Security Council were in Moscow.
One of the Iranian diplomats briefed on the visit said: “Russia has requested more UAVs and Iranian ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, especially the Fateh and Zolfaghar missile families.”
Russia currently buys ballistic missiles from Iran even though Russia has much more advanced missile technology. In a nutshell, Russia’s reason for doing so is said to be as follows:
1- Iranian missiles are economically effective when used to attack Ukrainian infrastructure. These missiles are still accurate. The main disadvantage is that they have a predictable ballistic flight path because they do not have good maneuverability. As a result, they cannot penetrate enemy ballistic missile defense systems. However, this defect is not important here because Ukraine does not possess effective systems for ballistic missile defense.
2- Buying Iranian missiles will allow Russia to save more advanced and lethal ballistic missiles, such as the Iskander, for future encounters with NATO.
What exactly is that Iranian weapon?
It is possible that Iran will deliver to Russia Fateh-110 missiles and Zolfaghar missiles. Both types of missiles are mounted on vehicles with a conventional wheelbase to ensure flexible movement. Here is an overview of these open source based weapons:
This is a vehicle-mounted solid-fuel rocket with a range of 300km. This missile is said to use inertial and satellite navigation to reach the target.
This missile is a longer (700km) version of the Fateh-110. It is 1.5m longer than the Fateh-110 and uses a rigid rocket motor. The rocket body is lighter due to the use of composite materials.
Zolfaghar is more accurate than Fateh-110 due to the use of infrared image search equipment for late-stage navigation.
Threats to Ukraine’s infrastructure
According to Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat, Russia plans to deploy missiles along Ukraine’s northern border, putting most of Ukraine’s territory at risk.
The spokesman also identified the missiles in question as Fateh-110 and Zolfahar, with ranges of 300km and 700km respectively, as ballistic. “We don’t have any protection against these missiles,” he said.
Over the past time, Russia has significantly weakened Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure. Ukrainian officials estimate that the country’s power generation capacity has decreased by 30-40%. The main cause was attacks by cruise missiles, suicide UAVs and air-to-surface missiles on October 10, October 11, and October 31.
Experts estimate that the destructive power of Iranian ballistic missiles will be much greater than the missiles and UAVs that Russia has used in the past on the Ukrainian battlefield. Ballistic missiles have greater speed in the final stages and carry larger warheads. Given the fact that ballistic missiles are hard to shoot down, much of Ukraine’s infrastructure could be pushed into disrepair.
How did the US react?
The US and NATO hardly accept the scenario that Ukraine loses to Russia. NATO Secretary General stated that the defeat of Ukraine will mean the defeat of NATO.
Currently, the West can consider the following scenarios to save Ukraine:
1- Prevent Iran from transferring ballistic missiles by preemptively striking Iranian missile logistics centers. If successful, the measure will save Ukraine. However, the effectiveness of air strikes by the US and the West will depend on the extent to which the weapons have been distributed by Iran as well as the extent to which Iran provides security for its weapons storage facilities.
2- Supply Ukraine with missiles with ranges similar to those provided by Iran, including a 300km variant of the HIMARS missiles that the US still refuses to provide.
However, this scenario may only cause more damage to Russia, but not prevent Iranian-made missiles from wreaking havoc on Ukraine’s infrastructure.
If the US tries to prevent Iran from supplying weapons to Russia and at the same time tries to establish a no-fly zone, the US will be in a position of major escalation of tensions in Ukraine, with unpredictable consequences because then the US will have to get involved. directly into this conflict and may suffer casualties.