Russia is in the process of acquiring a range of reconnaissance and combat drones from Iran, United States National Security Advisor to President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, told reporters during a press conference on July 11, 2022.  

“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred [unmanned aerial vehicles], including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” Sullivan is quoted as saying by Politico. 

The transfers may have already started, and Iran will provide appropriate training to Russians in the coming months, the official said. 

If true, the report confirms the fact that the Russian army is suffering from a lack of capable drones, a feature that could benefit the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

Numerous Russian military analysts have highlighted the lack of unmanned assets. The shortcoming has become especially acute in recent weeks, as Ukraine received Western-made high-precision rocket systems that Russia, according to Russian analysts, can neither detect nor counter in time.  

In April 2022, reports emerged that Russia was requesting the return of the S-300 air defense systems it had previously supplied to Iran. This was due to Russia’s own stock of high-tech weaponry becoming depleted during heavy fighting in Ukraine.  

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Moscow has seen the return of Russian S-300s from Iran, according to a recent investigation by British newspaper, the Guardian.