HomeInternational GeopoliticsStunningly Similar To Shahed-136 Suicide Drone, Chinese 'Replica' Of Iranian UAV Surfaces...

Stunningly Similar To Shahed-136 Suicide Drone, Chinese ‘Replica’ Of Iranian UAV Surfaces In New Video

Videos have emerged of a Chinese version of Iran’s famous Shahed-136 kamikaze drone, the Sunflower-200, being tested at firing ranges in China. This has given rise to speculation that Russia’s attempts to streamline the production of its analog, the Geran-2, might soon be bolstered. 

Russia has begun employing Geran-2 (the shorter name for Geranium-2) since September last year in Ukraine to target energy and power generation infrastructure. It fires the Geran on civilian-military facilities in coordination with other missile attacks like the Iskander, Kh-101, or Kalibr, swarming Ukraine’s Western-origin Air Defense (AD) systems. 

The Sunflower-200 was first unveiled at the latest Armiya-2023 exhibition held in Russia recently, with a shape strikingly similar to the Shahed and Geran. EurAsian Times recently reported how Iran has emerged as a significant drone power, with Iranian officials claiming even European countries are showing interest in its civilian and military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). 

Therefore, the emergence of a Chinese version demonstrates the proliferation of drone technology between countries the US and West have a hostile relationship with. 

Looks & Flies Like Shahed-136

The videos and pictures showed that the Sunflower-200 is a direct copy of the Shahed-136, with similar capabilities and intended roles. One video shows the aircraft on a rail launch platform with the propeller running and then suddenly jettisoned by a rocket booster, which then falls off. 

Another video showed the drone launched similarly from an airfield on a large mountain overlooking a valley. The UAV then nosedives and strikes a target on the ground. These are test videos made by the Chinese manufacturer to advertise their product on social media. 

A Telegram group that carried the two videos had the message: “Some beauty from Chinese manufacturers. Orders are accepted.” 

Kinematic Performance 

Posts on X (formerly Twitter) said the Sunflower’s launch weight is 175 kilograms, as against the 240 kilogram weight of Shahed-136. This allows the drone to take off more quickly or even vertically. It could also have to do with the newer generation of lighter composite materials and a better, more powerful Chinese engine, both areas where China has a significant techno-industrial capability. 

The Sunflower-200 is also declared to have a 3.2 meters (10 feet) long fuselage, a 2.5 meter (8 feet) wingspan, and a warhead of 40 kg. Different sources mention the attack range of 1,500 or 2,000 kilometers, while the cruising speed ranges from 160 to 220 km/h.

These specifications are more or less similar to those featured by Shahed-136, which also carries the name of Geran-2 in Russia.

Iranian Drone with Russian & Chinese Copies

The Chinese drone firm could be an entirely private company outside its state-owned defense industrial and academia apparatus, not restricted from selling to any international customer. 

This is much like China’s DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of the most advanced commercial leisure drones, used by both the Ukrainian and Russian militaries for routine battlefield surveillance, reconnaissance, and artillery fire correction roles. 

This is despite DJI banning their sales to Ukraine. Therefore, it was concluded that other third-party buyers, like dealers and distributors, were purchasing the drones and selling them to these countries. 

The fact that the UAVs were displayed in the Armiya-2023 exhibition means there could be some low-level Chinese and Iranian technical cooperation, possibly with Russian intermediation — or the other way round. 

This also does not imply China is arming Russia against Ukraine — a claim often made by Western media. The Shahed’s rebirth, now as a Chinese analog, is more a result of the Iranian aircraft’s success as a cheap, mass-produced yet effective loitering munition that serves as an alternative to exorbitant Western weapons while also leaving significant technical room for customization, modifications, and upgrades. 

A poster of the Sunflower-200, presumably at the Armiya-2023 defense exhibition in Russia.

Russia and China have well-developed defense industries, and neither expects the other to arm on their behalf, except for political solidarity of sharing hostility towards the West. 

Improved Chinese Drone a Threat for Ukraine?

It is unknown if the Chinese manufacturer had offered the drone to Russia during the military-tech event. However, the fact that such an alternative to the Iranian weapon appeared in Russian defense exhibitions could mean a significant threat to Ukraine. 

For one, being a Chinese product, the UAV can be expected to have better electronic-electrical circuitry and components — areas where Russian and Iranian defense industries have poor self-reliance. Meanwhile, manufacturing electronic and computer hardware represents China’s industrial and technological growth over the last 30 years, becoming the “world’s factory” of big and tiny electronic and mechanical goods for all major companies. 

In other words, the Sunflower-200 is ahead in many respects of the original Iranian Shahed-136 and its Russian version, Geran-2. 

Iranian Shahed 136 drone
Iranian Shahed 136 drone

Apart from directly buying the ready-made explosive drones, Russia can also try and source components for their own Geran-2 production that has been established on the territory of the Russian Federation and has already brought the first drones for the strikes on Ukraine. 

The factory in Alabuga set up for manufacturing the Geran-2, featured in a previous Washington Post (WaPo) report and further analyzed by EurAsian Times here, showed that its managers were directly coordinating with their Iranian counterparts in sourcing spares and engines. 

This means the factory has enough autonomy in making plans to increase production and deliver advanced variants. Naturally, this would not stop it from collaborating with the Chinese firm, buying electronics, components, and advanced circuit boards for its Gerans. 

Such deals do not require state-level clearances or represent strategic defense manufacturing alliances and can easily be viewed as a simple commercial-business deal between two companies. 

Source link
#Stunningly #Similar #Shahed136 #Suicide #Drone #Chinese #Replica #Iranian #UAV #Surfaces #Video



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat


India, US eyeing collaboration in batteries, minerals: Advisor to PM

New Delhi: Amid the quest for energy transition and ambitious net zero goals, India and the US are looking to collaborate in the fields of...

Zen Technologies Secures Rs227.65 Crore Order for Anti-Drone Systems

 Zen Technologies Secures Rs227.65 Crore Order for Anti-Drone Systems Zen Technologies Limited, a leading player in the defense technology sector, has witnessed a significant boost...

AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Updates

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Archive Months


India, Saudi Arabia hold talks to boost defence cooperation

Source : Tribune IndiaRepresentative ImageSaudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence for Strategic Affairs Ahmed A Aseeri called on Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar on Thursday....

IAF and ADA to carry out ASRAAM trial on LCA Tejas Mk1 this year

Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)IAF and ADA to carry out ASRAAM trial on LCA Tejas Mk1 this year The Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM)...

Armenia considering to purchase Indo-Israeli MR-SAM system from India

Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)Indian Air Force MR-SAM on Rajpath during Republic Day Parade (File Photo)Armenia is considering to order MR-SAM air defense...

France Germany and Sweden to build a new tactical cargo aircraft under FMTC program

Source : IgMp BureauEuropean Commission mulls development of new Medium Tactical AirlifterAt a time when the Brazilian firm Embraer has offered India the local...

5,000 dead after the biggest earthquake of recent times hits Turkey, Syria and surrounding countries

Source : Financial ExpressImage Source: BBC TurkeyTurkey Earthquake Latest Updates: India has sent NDRF’s search and rescue teams to Turkey and Syria consisting of specially...

India, US discussed Chinese spy balloons : top US Air Force commander

Source : Asian News International (ANI)India, US discussed Chinese spy balloons : top US Air Force commander New Delhi: India and the US held discussions...

Killing the Bird’s View – India’s Anti-Drone Tech

Source : Raksha AnirvedaRepresentative Imageby Girish LingannaThe first Defender anti-drone product from RattanIndia Enterprises was released on Wednesday. The step-down subsidiary Throttle Aerospace Systems...

Russia’s Duma speaker alludes to ‘new G8’ which includes India, Iran and China as war with Ukraine continues

Source : Times NowPrime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: PIB)Moscow: As the Ukraine-Russia war continues, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin on...

Defence Ministry inks Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) NGMMCB (LR) deal worth over Rs 1,700 crore for the Indian Navy

Source : SwarajyaDefence Ministry inks Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) NGMMCB (LR) deal worth over Rs 1,700 crore for the Indian...

China flashes ‘Rare Footage’ of DF-17 Hypersonic Missile ahead of Army Day celebrations, Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Source : The Eurasian TimesA video celebrating August 1, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, released by China...

Indian Air Force could operate around 25+ squadrons of HAL AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter by 2050

Source : Indian Defense NewsIndian Air Force could operate around 25+ squadrons of HAL AMCA 5th Generation Stealth Fighter by 2050by Dev Pratap KawaleIntroductionCurrently...

DRDO Developing Endothermic Fuels For Various Hypersonic Weapons Development

Source : Indian Defence AnalysisDRDO Developing Endothermic Fuels For Various Hypersonic Weapons Development Hypersonic Missiles are new generation of kinetic strike weapons. They are meant...

Six MH-60R multirole helicopters delivered to Indian Navy

Source : JanesThe second Indian Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk - serial IN752 - at Tulsa International Airport, Oklahoma, where it stopped off on July...

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker

Refresh Page
error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: