Iranian kamikaze drones Arash-2 – what is known about them, their capabilities and characteristics

Arash-2, or  Kian-2, an Iranian kamikaze drone can cause a greater danger than the Shahed 136

There was unconfirmed information that the Russian Federation ordered from Iran a new type of Arash-2 kamikaze drones, which has a larger warhead and range compared to the Shahed-136, which the Kremlin ordered 2,400 units.

So far, the information appears at the level of assumptions based on Iranian sources, but, given the decrease in the number of long-range missile weapons in the Russian Federation to a level below “emergency store”, such an option is quite likely.

As with all Iranian weapons, there is little information about the capabilities and characteristics of the Arash-2. Most of it comes from Iran itself, which is characterized by ascribing to its weapons capabilities even better than those which “do not have analogues”

The Arash-2 (also known as the Kian-2) was demonstrated for the first time in 2019. It is an improvement of the Arash-1 (Kian-1) kamikaze drone, which was announced publicly in 2015. It is twice as big as the previous version.

Iranian media state that the Arash-1 has a wingspan of 2 meters, a payload of up to 30 kg, a service ceiling of 5.5 km, a cruise speed of 350 km/h and a maximum of 480 km/h.

The Arash-2 (Kian-2), on the other hand, has a wingspan of up to 4 meters, a length of up to 4.5 meters, and a range of up to 1,000 km (or 1,600 km, according to some sources). The aerodynamic solution with the triangular wing is similar and, in the view of everything, it is about scaling the platform itself to extend the flight range and possibly increase the warhead. It is quite difficult to distinguish them in the picture due to the lack of scale because visually they are almost indistinguishable.

Iranian sources claim that the drone is equipped with a jet engine. The drone’s tail section was wrapped in cellophane and visible in the first pictures. Other pictures clearly show that the drone has a propeller engine.

There is also a version that Arash and Kian differ in their engines, the first has a piston, the second a jet. But then the characteristics of these kamikaze drones should be completely different in terms of flight range and warhead.

Iran traditionally uses a civilian chassis as a launch platform, which can be also disguised as an ordinary truck. A rocket booster is used for launch.

According to Iranian sources, Arash-2 (Kian-2) can be equipped with a passive homing radar head and is aimed to destroy radar stations. They also claim the possibility of equipping it with television cameras, but there are not any photos of them. It is theoretically possible to install the passive anti-radar head.

Some drones are equipped with antennas. Their size does not indicate the possibility of a full communication channel with a significant range. It can be used as part of a passive radar head. A few of the pictures give the impression that they are completed in a graphic editor.

It is therefore possible to suppose that the Arash-2 (Kian-2) has multiple versions. Some can be equipped by a passive radar-homing head while others have “aircraft projectiles” that are guided by satellite navigation to hit stationary objects.

The development of almost identical kamikaze drones Shahed 131, Shahed 136, and Arash (Kian), as well as Arash-2 (Kian-2), may be explained by the different organizations that developed them in support of different structures. The Iranian Aircraft Industrial Company developed the Shahed 131/136, while Arash (Kian) was developed by experts from the Iranian Air Defense Forces. The supply goes to either the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or the ground forces or the air force.

Characteristics of Arash-2 (Kian-2), according to Iranian and other sources

Wingspan: up to 4 m.

Length: 4.5 m.

Speed: unspecified, about 400 km/h with a jet engine and up to 200 km/h using a piston.

Range: 1000km, some sources say 1600 km.

Warhead: unspecified, from 30 kg. There is unconfirmed information about 260kg with a rocket engine.

Guidance system: satellite navigation and possibly a passive radar-homing head.

Earlier, Iranian officials declared that they would not send Arash-2 to Russia. However, these statements do not have any credibility, given that Iran denies that its drones are used to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Originally posted on Defense Express, translated and edited by the UaPosition – Ukrainian news and analytics website

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