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Number of Shaheds Produced or Received by russia Reaches 1,600 and 2,600

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Ilustrative photo: Shahed-136 loitering munition, downed by air defenses and found by the local police / Photo credit: National Police of Ukraine
Ilustrative photo: Shahed-136 loitering munition, downed by air defenses and found by the local police / Photo credit: National Police of Ukraine

The batch numbers found on downed Shahed-136 loitering munitions exceed 1600 for drones with the К marking and 2600 for those with the Ы marking, showing how much russia bets on these iranian weapons

The russian federation is actively and at a large scale stockpiling Shahed-136 munitions, both ready-made ones delivered from iran and locally assembled from obtained components, the scale of effort evident after the most recent findings.

Defense Express has received information about the numbers inscribed on the hulls of Shaheds that the Ukrainian air defense shot down on the night of February 11th. Out of 45 launched by russian invasion forces, 40 were intercepted, and among them are the K-type and Y-type (К/Ы) drones with batch numbers over 1,600 and 2,600, respectively.

Read more: ​russia Modified the Shahed-136 Drone Warhead for the Third Time, Incorporating Both Shaped Charge and Incendiary Effect (Photos)
Illustrative photo one of the first Shahed-136 drones with the Y marking downed in July 2023
Illustrative photo: one of the first Shahed-136 drones with the "Y" (Ы) marking downed in July 2023 / Photo credit: Operativno ZSU

A brief reminder, the "K" marking indicates the so-called "Geran-K" loitering munitions produced in russia, they have some distinct design features compared to the standard iranian-made version thee call "Geran-M." The "Y" marking stands for another variant of iranian manufacture but it has a russian navigation system inside.

The first appearance of the russian modifications "K" and "Y" dates back to July 2023, and now we can with a certain degree of confidence conclude that since then, the russians have produced over 1,600 K-type and received 2,600 upgraded Y-type Shaheds from iran or their parts for assembly in russia. That makes a total of 4,200 Shaheds made, apart from the original M-type which is no longer recorded in Ukraine.

The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine assessed the rates of russian Shahed production at 300 to 350 a month in early 2024. The tempo is not consistent, though, because there are problems with stable supplies of subsystems and components, therefore ups and downs in the output graphs from month to month.

A black painted Shahed drone shot down by Ukrainian air defense
A black painted Shahed drone shot down by Ukrainian air defense. Photo published: January 2024 / Photo credit: National Police of Ukraine

Besides, the expenditure of Shaheds by the russian forces seems to correlate with the weather conditions over Ukraine. Considering the official statistics of shelling from the past few months, provided by the Ukrainian Air Force, russians launched a record-breaking number of over 600 loitering munitions in December 2023, then reduced to 274 in January 2024 and 171 so far in February, when the weather conditions have been less suitable for aerial operations.

Read more: ​Jet-Driven Shahed-238 Disassembled: Engine From Czechia, Satellite Navigation Tools From Canada (Photo)