The source told the outlet that the drone’s development represents “the significant force design work Iran is engaged in to support Russia’s interests regarding Ukraine.”

A few units of the drone have been offered to Russia in a deal worth an estimated $2 million, the outlet reported the source as saying.

The Shahed-107, part of the Shahed series, is reported to have a roughly 10-foot wingspan and to be about 8 feet long.

It can be launched from a vehicle and was trialed at an air base in central Iran with Russian representatives present, the source told Sky News.

The drone may be fitted with livestreaming capabilities, allowing the operator to identify targets in real time, it reported.

Iran has long denied providing drones to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine, and its foreign ministry did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

However, the broad consensus of Ukraine’s Western allies, military experts, and independent reporting indicates that it has supplied several types of drone to Russia throughout the conflict.

These include the inexpensive Shahed-136 “suicide” drone, which has been launched in waves toward Ukrainian infrastructure on a regular basis, placing ongoing pressure on its air defenses.

An unnamed Ukrainian source told Sky News that “We have huge concerns about possible supplies of the mentioned types of the drones.”

The source added that Russia’s attack relies a lot on the Iranian drones: “They try to make them faster to force Ukrainian defence forces to use more expensive air defence systems.”

Ukraine has needed to deploy air-defense missiles costing up to $500,000 to defend against Shahed-136 drones, which are estimated to cost around $20,000.

The new drones are not the only part of the deal, the security source told Sky News. Iran and Russia are also close to a deal for the supply of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine, they said, in a move that is likely to ramp up pressure on Ukraine to use its precious and limited supply of Patriot missiles.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source » businessinsider