Iranian drones Shahed-131 use American components for $50 from eBay

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 27.09.2022, 19:45
Iranian drones Shahed-131 use American components for $50 from eBay

The Center for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has updated information on Iranian kamikaze drones Shahed-131. They are used by the Russian army less frequently than Shahed-136, and are simplified versions of the latter.

Here's What We Know

The drone research report didn't tell us anything top-secret that we might not know or guess about. Still, there are some interesting details in the material. Shahed-131 was developed by the Iranian company Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center. The hull is made of carbon fiber and reinforced with metal inserts.

TMS320F128335 microcontrollers of the American company Texas Instruments were found in the flight control unit of the drone. One should not look for conspiracy theories here, because such boards are freely available. For example, a single chip costs about $50 on eBay. Five chips were found in Shahed-131.

In general, almost the entire drone is created from materials that are freely available, i.e. sanctions have no effect on Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center in this case. The kamikaze drone is equipped with a GPS receiver (also civilian level). It allows the vehicle to attack only stationary targets. Shahed-131 has the system preventing substitution of GPS-signals by means of electronic warfare, which can be called a distinctive feature.

The inertial system allows the suicide drone to fly in areas where there is no GPS signal. But in such case it can deviate from the target by 1-5% depending on wind speed and direction. To understand, at a distance of 1 km, 5% turns into 50 m. When the GPS signal appears, the drone must correct the flight direction.

Shahed-131 is more compact compared to Shahed-136. The wingspan is reduced from 2.5 m to 2.2 m and the length is reduced from 3.5 m to 2.6 m. In addition, the drone weighs 135 kg instead of 200 kg and has a range of 900 km instead of 2000 km (stated by the manufacturer). It uses a battery consisting of 35 cells with a total capacity of 17 000 mA*h. The weight of the combat unit is 10-15 kg against 15-20 kg of the 136 version.

Source: @AFUStratCom