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Hacker group reveals cost of Iranian drone production

by Rachel Amran February 7, 2024 12:36 AM 2 min read
The remnants of a destroyed Russian Shahed drone at an exhibition in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 12, 2023. (Oleksii Samsonov /Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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A group of hackers from the Prana Network were able to gain access to the mail servers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which contained information on the production and cost of Shahed-136 attack drones used by Russia.

Russia has used Iranian-made Shahed drones to indiscriminately attack Ukraine since the start of its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The IRGC operates a shell company known as Sahara Thunder which promotes illegal arms sales between Iran and Russia.  A group of hackers from Prana were able to publish internal documents revealing the cost of production of an individual drone as well as the profits Iran made from Shahed-136 sales to Russia.

Documents revealed that one drone costs $375,000 to produce. During negotiations, an agreement was reached establishing that each drone would cost only $193,000  when Russia ordered 6,000 units or $290,000 when ordering 2,000 units.

In total, the Iranian government earned $1.8 billion from the sale of Shahed drones to Russia. At least part of the payments, the documents report, were provided in gold.

Earlier this year, Russian officials announced that the country was in the process of developing  a cheaper version of the Iranian-made Shahed drone called the "Hawk."

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