Russia modified suicide UAV to attack Ukraine in winter?

Kiev believes that Russia may have modified the characteristics of the Geran-2 suicide drone (the West suspects it is Shahed-136 manufactured by Iran) to be able to attack Ukraine in the winter.

“Russia appears to have fixed the problems on the Geran-2 and it was able to strike in cold weather,” said Yuriy Ihnat, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Air Force Command.

According to him, Russia seems to have modified the Geran-2 UAVs so that they can return to action in Ukraine after a few weeks of silence.

Earlier, Yevgeny Silkin, an official of the Strategic Communications Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said on December 6 that Russia had stopped using Geran-2 drones because these UAVs were inactive for a period of time. cold weather.

Specifically, according to Mr. Silkin, Geran-2 is made of plastic and materials that are not resistant to frost, so it is not effective in winter.

On December 6, Ukrainian media said, from November 17, Russia no longer uses Geran-2 in Ukraine. This is the first day this year that snow has fallen in Ukraine. Winter in Ukraine is very harsh with temperatures that can drop below 0 degrees Celsius from December to March next year.

However, also on December 6, Russia launched raids on Dnipropetrovsk, Kiev, Poltava, Zhytomyr, and Zaporizhia using the Geran-2 suicide drone.

In addition, according to Mr. Ihnat, there is also the possibility that the Russian suicide UAV is not suitable for operation in stormy weather, or the conditions may lead to the device freezing (for example, the temperature from positive to positive). to minus C). So they don’t work at the time when Ukraine changes seasons, but when the cold season comes and the weather is more stable, it can still work. 

According to ISW (USA), Russia seems to increase the use of Geran-2 to attack the key infrastructure of Ukraine in the near future.

The West and Ukraine suspect that the Geran-2 is a Shahed-136 suicide drone manufactured by Iran and repainted by Russia. Iran admitted to selling a small number of UAVs to Russia before the war in Ukraine but stopped supplying more, while Moscow claimed it only used domestic drones in the war with Ukraine.

ISW said that because Russia seems to be short of high-precision weapons after nearly 10 months of the war, it will prioritize using cheap suicide UAVs from $20,000-50,000 each to attack Ukraine.

Russia has not commented on the information provided by Ukrainian officials.

Russia started using the Geran-2 in October, in an attempt to massively attack Ukraine’s vital infrastructure, leaving Kiev and many major cities without power over the winter. The West believes that Russia wants to put pressure on its opponents when they have to face some setbacks on the battlefield in recent times.

The Shahed-136 is designed to self-destruct on impact and has a low range, enough to evade radar. The UAV is also relatively inexpensive compared to more advanced weapons such as missiles, making it often used in large numbers to attack enemy cities and military positions. With a 40 kg warhead, the Shahed-136 can deal significant damage.

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