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The Russian military is already having bad luck with the drones it received from Iran, which have quickly begun experiencing several failures less than a month after the first batch arrived.
“There are a few bugs in the system,” a western security official told the Washington Post of the drones, according to a report Tuesday. “The Russians are not satisfied.”
Russia received dozens of Iranian-made drones on August 19, its first batch in what U.S. officials believe is supposed to be several hundred that Iran is planning to provide the Russian military.
But less than a month after receiving the first batch, Russian forces are reporting technical difficulties and malfunctions with the drones.
Russian officials reportedly visited Iran twice last month to view the drones that were to be provided to Russia, though it remains unclear whether the aircraft were a gift from Iran or whether the Russians were paying for the equipment.
According to a report from Reuters, the drones are Shahed-series and Mohajer-6 models that are manufactured in Iran, and one U.S. administration official told the outlet that the drones have experienced “numerous failings.”
Russia has been slow to adopt drone technology in recent years, a fact worsened by U.S. and Western sanctions that crippled the country’s ability to buy the type of technology needed to advance its own drone program. Faced with fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces, Iran stepped up and agreed to provide Russia with the unmanned aircraft that are capable of carrying weapons.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have been able to use their own drone program with success since the beginning of the conflict, though Russian forces have become more advanced in jamming or shooting down the drones in recent months.
The shipment of Iranian drones comes at the same time the U.S. has redoubled its effort to fund the Ukrainian war effort, announcing last week an aid package worth nearly $3 billion.
“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty,” President Biden said in a statement last week.