TechUkrainian strike cripples Russian drone depot in Krasnodar Krai

Ukrainian strike cripples Russian drone depot in Krasnodar Krai

A shelled warehouse in Jejsk and the Shahed-136 drone
A shelled warehouse in Jejsk and the Shahed-136 drone
Images source: © Unian
Norbert Garbarek

24 June 2024 07:36

The Ukrainian Navy has released photos showing the aftermath of an attack carried out in cooperation with the local security service on one of the warehouses in Yeisk, located in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. According to the Defense Romania portal, the Ukrainians targeted a facility where the Russians were storing Shahed-136 drones.

The Ukrainian armed forces, in conjunction with the security service, conducted a comprehensive bombardment of Russian strategic facilities on the night of 21 June. Defence Romania notes that the Ukrainians struck, among other things, four oil refineries within Russian territory and several radar stations.

During one of the recent attacks, the Russians suffered losses in Krasnodar Krai, particularly in Yeisk on the Sea of Azov. In this region, the Ukrainian forces hit a warehouse, which, as it turns out, is a facility where the Russians store Shahed-136 drones, known in Russia as Geran-2.

This site also hosts a command and communication point for the operators of the mentioned drones, launched from Krasnodar Krai towards Ukraine. The exact extent of the damage is unknown, as the Russians have not reported how many drones were affected during the bombardment. However, satellite imagery confirms the accuracy of the Ukrainian strike.

Iranian drones used by the Russians

The Shahed drones stored in the damaged facility in Yeisk are weapons originating from Iran. They are manufactured by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Corporation. In Russia, however, the Shahed-136 is referred to as Geran-2.

The design dates back to the 1980s when authorities in the Republic of South Africa decided to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle primarily for combating hostile radar stations. However, due to the ongoing Rhodesian War, they sold the drone's technical documentation to the Iranian manufacturer, leading to the development of the Shahed-131 and its larger variant, the Shahed-136, in subsequent years.

The Shaheds currently produced and utilised by the Russians are powered by a copy of the German Limbach L550E engine, known as the Mado MD550. This engine generates about 50 horsepower and accelerates the drone to approximately 115 mph. Some sources claim the Geran-2 can achieve a range of up to 1,240 miles, but it is more likely around 620 miles.

These drones, measuring approximately 11 feet long with a wingspan (in a delta configuration) of 8 feet, weigh about 440 pounds. The warhead alone weighs around 88 pounds. It is also worth noting that at the beginning of 2024, Ukrainians intercepted a new version of the Iranian Shahed-136, confirming the presence of Russian Kometa receivers. These receivers were developed for small drones to mitigate the effects of enemy electronic systems jamming them. This discovery suggests that the Russians may be independently modernising Iranian drones.

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