Julian Röpke, a German military expert writing for Bild, commented that a drone that came down in the Kursk region at the weekend provided further evidence of a new level of military cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.

After examining video of the fallen heavy Iranian Mohajer-6 drone, which has been extensively used by Russian forces for aerial surveillance, Röpke identified that it was carrying the latest Iranian Qaem-5 guided aerial bomb – the first time the weapon has been seen during the war in Ukraine. The video is shown below.

The drone was believed to be on its way to mount an attack in the Sumy region before coming down, the reason for the crash is not yet known.

The weapon shown in the video is the Qaem-5 version from the family of air-to-ground bombs designed to be carried on Iranian Mohajer-6 and Hamaseh unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

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The Qaem, sometimes written as Ghaem, is available in four variants: (simply) Qaem, a laser guided version; Qaem 1, equipped with an infrared (IR) seeker; the larger Qaem-5 and even larger Qaem-9, both variants using TV guidance.

From available sources, all three TV seekers with a number suffix may be IR, thus giving the weapons low-light/night capability, or the larger two may be only electro-optical, like a typical camera, and only effective with ample visible lighting conditions, i.e., in daylight or with other ambient illumination.

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Sources told Kyiv Post that various brands of gasoline and diesel fuel with a total volume of 12.5 thousand cubic meters were stored there.

The Mohajer-6 UAV is manufactured by Iran’s Qods Aviation Industries for both reconnaissance and combat operations and has been in mass production since 2018. Along with the Shahed 131 and 136 kamikaze drones, the Mohajer-6 has become Iran's most successful export drone.

The drone is 7.5 meters (24ft 7 in) long and has a 10-meter (32 ft 10 in) wingspan. It has a maximum take-off weight of 670 kilograms (1,477 lbs) and can carry a payload of 150 kilograms (330 lbs) on wing pylons.

It is powered by the Austrian designed Rotax 912 or 914 piston engine, or an indigenous copy manufactured by HESA. It has a maximum speed of 200 kilometers an hour, a ceiling of 5.5 kilometers and a flight range of about 2 thousand kilometers.

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Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Iran has transferred weapons stocks to Russia, including kamikaze drones, and artillery and tank ammunition. Iran has transferred the technology that allows Russia to manufacture analogs of the Shahed kamikaze drones in Yelabuga, Tatarstan which was targeted by Ukraine’s own long-range drones at the beginning of April.

It has also been reported that, according to Western intelligence sources, Iran agreed to supply ballistic missiles to Moscow in early 2024 – although no such transfer has so far been recorded.

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