Iran and Russia will start producing combat drones at a planned factory in Yelabuga city located in Tatarstan.
Officials told the Wall Street Journal that an Iranian delegation -- led by Brigadier General Abdullah Mehrabi, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Forces Research, and Ghassem Damavandian, the head of Iran’s Quds Aviation Industry -- visited Russia’s Tatarstan for an inspection in early January.
The two parties have reportedly agreed on the details of the project. The new factory will have the capacity to make at least 6,000 drones in the coming years.
Commenting on the report, a Kremlin spokesperson said today, "We have our own development programs and I do not know what sources the newspaper relied on in its reports. Russia has an array of its own programs for creating unmanned aerial platforms for very diverse goals and these programs are being implemented," Spokesperson Peskov said.
Improved version of Shahed-136 planned
Officials said both countries are seeking to develop an improved version of the Shahed-136 drone, known in Russia as the Geran-2. It will be faster than the current version.
Russia used Iranian drones to attack Ukrainian targets, including power grids.
On February 3, the U.S. Department of the Treasury introduced sanctions against eight high-ranking officials of the Iranian drone manufacturer in response to Tehran’s supply of drones to Russia for the war against Ukraine.