Ukrainian Hackers breached the Russian defense industrial complex and exposed data on Iranian drones sold to Russia

The Prana Network hacking group has exposed critical data about the production and pricing of Shahed-136 drones intended for Russia.

According to Militarnyi news agency, which analyzes the data, this breach sheds light on the covert dealings between Iran and Russia, with implications for international security.

On February 4, 2024, PRANA Network disclosed their successful infiltration of the email servers of the ostensibly Iranian company “IRGC Sahara Thunder,” which is suspected of facilitating the illegal transfer of weapons from Iran to Russia.

Among the leaked documents, details regarding the localization of the production of Iranian combat drones in the special economic zone of “Alabuga,” Russia, were discovered. These drones were cryptically referred to as “motorboats of the Dolphin 632 type” in the documents.

According to the papers, Russia had plans to manufacture 6,000 Iranian drones under license within 2.5 years, starting in 2022. The initial cost quoted by Iran for each unit was 23 million rubles (approximately 375,000 US dollars). However, negotiations led to an agreement at either 12 million rubles per unit (approximately 193,000 US dollars) for an order of 6,000 units or 18 million rubles (approximately 290,000 US dollars) for an order of 2,000 units.

The overall contract price, including technology transfer, equipment, 6,000 drone kits, and software, amounts to a staggering 108.5 billion rubles (approximately 1.75 billion US dollars).

According to other leaked documents, Russia appears to be conducting financial transactions and payments with Iran in gold. In February 2023, the organization “Alabuga Machinery” allegedly transferred 2,067,795 grams of gold bars to the Iranian proxy company Sahara Thunder, presumably as payment for services and goods.

It’s worth noting that Russia assembles Shahed-136 drones, also known as “Geran-2,” at a factory 500 miles east of Moscow in the Tatarstan region, using kits supplied from Iran. Western intelligence reports indicate that the Kremlin is expanding production of these drones, with plans to enhance localization by creating additional manufacturing facilities for their components in the future.

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