Iranian drones contain parts made by 13 US companies: report

Iranian drones contain parts made by 13 US companies: report

The Iranian-made drones used by Russia in its war against Ukraine are comprised of American parts, according to a Ukrainian intelligence assessment.

The report, obtained by CNN, is based on the disassembly of a downed Shahed-136 drone.

Of the 52 parts taken out of the UAV by Ukrainian intelligence, 40 were made by 13 American companies, according to the report. Other salvaged components were also foreign-made — manufactured by companies in Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, and China.

The companies weren’t publicly identified.

The suicide drones, designed to fly to a target and then explode, have become a primary weapon in Russia’s quiver as the 10-month-long war has begun to deplete their supply of long-range precision missiles.

a burning power plant
Drones have been a key component of Russia’s campaign against Ukraine’s power grid.
AFP via Getty Images

Moscow began unleashing them against Ukrainian cities in the fall, as Kyiv’s counter-offensive began reclaiming territory in the country’s east. The drones have become a key component in Russia’s efforts to target the Ukrainian power grid and knock out heat and electricity to residential neighborhoods — a tactic the West has dubbed “weaponizing winter.”

Tehran’s export of drones to Russia is also the apparent backbone of what the White House has called a “full-fledged” military alliance between the two pariah states.

Firefighters spraying water on rubble
Firefighters work after a drone attack on buildings in Kyiv in October.

“Iran is providing Russia with drones for use on the battlefield in Ukraine,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing last month.

“In exchange, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership,” he added.

A drone in the sky
The Shahed drone has 40 American-made parts, according to a Ukrainian assessment.

Ukraine’s assessment of the drone components took place late last year, and has been shared with the White House, according to CNN.

“We are looking at ways to target Iranian UAV production through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production,” NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson told the outlet.

“We are assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones.”

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