Table of Contents
Not to be confused with HESA Shahed 136.
This article may contain an excessive number of citations. Please help remove low-quality or irrelevant citations. (March 2023) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Shahed 131 (Persian: شاهد ۱۳۶, literally “Witness 131”), or Geran-1 (Russian: Герань-1, literally “Geranium-1”) in Russian service, is an Iranian-made drone which came to prominence in October 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is powered by a Wankel engine model Shahed-783/788. Janes created an in-depth technical summary of the machine.
The Shahed-131 is powered by the Serat-1 Wankel engine, which is a copy of the Beijing Micropilot UAV Control System Ltd MDR-208 Wankel engine. An engine of this type was used for the drone in the 2019 Aramco attack in Abqaiq, which was referred to the UN Secretariat as part of the Resolution 2231 2020 investigations.
The Shahed-131 flight control unit was found to be able to connect with Iridium satellites, which in theory allows the flight path to be altered mid flight. The flight controller has a backup inertial navigation system by MEMS gyroscope. Its primary instructions are derived from a commercial-grade GPS unit.
Designs for the Kentron ARD-10 loitering drone were sold to Iran Aviation Industries Organization in 2004/5 and used by Shahed Aviation Industries to develop the Shahed 131 and Shahed 136 drones, according to Air Forces Monthly magazine. However a Royal United Services Institute article states the origins of the Shahed 131 are obscure.
It has a 15 kilograms (33 lb) warhead and has a range of 900 kilometres (559 mi).
Operational history #
See also: Abqaiq–Khurais attack
It has been alleged the drone was first seen in the Arabian Peninsula when it was used to attack Saudi targets by the Houthi rebels. However The Washington Post reported that other types of drone were used in that attack.
See also: 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and Iran and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
It was used in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, under a Russian name Geran-1. A simplified version is also called Geran-3 where the diesel engine has been replaced with a DLE-60 twin gasoline engine.
- Iran: By IRGCASF/NEHSA and IRGCN/NEDSA
- Russia: Used as the Geran-1.
Non-state actors #
Saraya Ababil: Used as Murad-6