Russia unveils Shahed-136 kamikaze drone production line for the first time

Russia has publicly showcased its assembly line for Shahed type suicide drones, marking the first time such a production facility has been revealed.

Images released showing the assembly stage of the drones’ gliders without their propulsion, engines, or avionics installed.

The Iranian-origin Shahed-136 kamikaze drones have been widely utilized during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since September 2022.

Previously, it was revealed through hacking efforts that Russia had established a drone assembly plant using Iranian components as early as April 2023. However, by 2025, the plant is expected to transition to a fully closed production cycle utilizing Russian components.

The Shahed-136, sold to Russia from Iran alongside its smaller variant, the Shahed-131, is a propeller-driven carbon-fiber airframe equipped with satellite guidance. Capable of carrying a warhead weighing up to 40 kilograms, it boasts a range of approximately 1,000 kilometers. The majority of its components are commercially available and sourced from the West, maintaining relatively low production costs, estimated between $70,000 to $180,000 per drone.

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