In its latest update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United Kingdom said on Monday the Kremlin continues to use the Iranian-made Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to strike targets inside the Ukrainian territory.
“However, Ukrainian efforts to defeat the Shahed-136 UAVs are increasingly successful, with official sources, including President Zelensky, claiming that up to 85% of the attacks are being intercepted,” the UK’s defence ministry said in a tweet.
The Shahed-136 drones are slow, noisy, and fly at low altitudes, thus making ‘lone aircraft easy to target conventional air defences,’ the ministry added.
Describing Ukraine’s air defence systems as ‘increasingly effective,’ the Defence HQ further said Moscow is using these drones as a substitute for the Russian-made long-range precision weapons which are becoming increasingly scarce.
The Shahed-136 UAVs are also sometimes known as ‘kamikaze’ drones. In the ongoing war, these were first used by the Kremlin in a strike on central Kyiv on October 17, days after an explosion hit the Kerch Bridge which connects Russia to Crimea.