The Mohajer-6 has the capability to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and the Shahed series is considered among the most capable of Iran’s military drones, according to comments made by the Iranian military to local news media.
Iran is a pioneer in drone technology, with at least four decades of design and manufacturing experience, and it has been providing combat drones to military groups and proxy militia in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.
Officials in Israel, the United States and some Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia have said they are increasingly concerned that Iran’s advancing drone technology could destabilize the region and empower militias backed by Iran.
In the shadow war between Iran and Israel, Iranian drones have been involved in attacks on ships and have targeted U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria. Israel has also attacked a secret facility in western Iran where hundreds of drones were believed to have been stored.
Iran has quietly ramped up its drone sales far beyond the region as it seeks to be a global player in the drone market. Iran has sold drones to Ethiopia, Sudan and Venezuela; in May, it inaugurated a joint drone-manufacturing factory in Tajikistan.
The United States has been warning since last month that Russia intended to receive drones from Iran. The Russian military is experiencing major supply shortages in Ukraine, in part because of sanctions and export controls, forcing Russia to rely on countries like Iran for supplies and equipment.