For the first time in modern conflict, the battleground in Ukraine is becoming an actual UAV war. As evidenced by the significant damage, it inflicted on the enemy, the Russian Geran-2 UAV has proven its worth.
Iran claims it has had nothing to do with any military sales to Russia and maintains it will not sell the Arash-2 to Russia out of concern for the safety of its technology in the hands of the United States. The Arash-2 is likened to an actual cruise missile by commentators; nevertheless, its slower speed makes it possible for the UAV to patrol above the target.
There isn’t a ton of data about the Arash-2, but we know that it can hit targets at a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers and that its warhead is substantially larger than the Shahed-136.
Arash-2, a brand-new UAV, didn’t enter service until September 2022. According to onlookers, this UAV was built to attack Israeli cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa.
This new Iranian missile can change directions and move at low altitudes, making it harder for Israeli air defense systems like Iron Dome to intercept.
An expert on defense issues speculated that Russia agreed to assist Iran in developing its missile and UAV technologies so that Iran could supply Russia with the low-cost, mass-produced UAVs that Russia lacked.
Because of their low altitude and low production cost, these UAVs can be launched in large numbers to overwhelm the enemy’s air defenses. When compared to the United States Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can cost up to $2 million each, Russia’s Kalibrs come in at around $1 million.
The Shahed-136 and Arash-2 UAVs can be purchased for as little as $10,000 and $50,000, respectively. Ukrainian forces had access to Russian platforms such as the Strela-10, Tunguska, and Tors, which were effective against UAVs, but larger systems such as the S-300, Buk, and Osa were largely ineffective.
Yet, Russia has allegedly destroyed several of them. Meanwhile, MANPADS are useless because their homing heads can’t shoot down drones because those aircraft don’t give off any infrared or radar signals.