Military Knowledge: Shahed-149 (Gaza) Reconnaissance Combat Drone

Thursday 30 March 2023 - 11:45

On the occasion of the victory of the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli regime in the 11-day war in Gaza in 2021, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unveiled its new ultra-heavy and wide-bodied combat reconnaissance drone named “Gaza” (Shahed-149) on May 21, 2021.

Shahed-149 or Gaza drone is one of the most advanced and largest Iranian drones ever built by the Iranian Armed Forces, and the specifications and equipment used in it show the significant progress of Iran in increasing the country’s capabilities in the field of UAVs.

The Shahed-149 reconnaissance combat drone, capable of carrying 13 bombs and 500 kilograms of equipment, as well as a 35-hour flight duration up to a radius of 2,000 kilometers, and is capable of conducting a variety of combat and intelligence operations and greatly enhances and promotes Iran’s military capability in the region.

This drone is very similar to the US MQ-9 Reaper drone and is compared to this drone in terms of operational level. According to the published images, it seems that Iranian experts have succeeded in building such a drone by using past experiences and studies on American captured drones.

Shahed-149 (Gaza) drone with a wingspan of 21 meters and a length of 11 meters has a speed of about 350 kilometers per hour and its maximum takeoff weight is 3100 kg and is capable of carrying cargo weighing at least 500 kg and its flight altitude is about 35,000 feet. Therefore, due to the large size and heavy weight of this drone, a turboprop engine has been used. This is the first time that a turboprop engine with this power is used on an Iranian drone. Exact information about the power of this engine has not been published yet; But according to the published images and general information of the drone, it seems that the Shahed-149 drone uses a turboprop engine with a nearly 650 shaft horsepower.

Another noteworthy point in this drone is the use of a more advanced electro-optical system than previous drones. This system, which seems to be one of the most advanced Iranian electro-optical systems, in addition to a day-vision camera with a zoom power of at least 100 to 120 times, also has a infrared sensor system, laser designation and laser illumination capabilities. One of the highlights of this system is the use of a catadioptric lens that increase the magnification ability several times and this is the first time that it has been used in Iranian drones.

Shahed-149 Gaza drone electro-optical system

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, regarding the weapons capability of the Gaza drone, stated that this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs. In the published images, a device similar to the rotating bomb system used in bombers is seen. And given the space under the drone’s fuselage, the Gaza drones appears to be using a Rotary Bomb Launcher under its fuselage that can carry up to five bombs. If this is true, this is the first Iranian drone to use this mechanism. Due to this improvement, 5 bombs will be installed inside the bomb bay and 8 bombs will be installed under the wings, and in total, this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs.

Iranian Sadid “Fire-and-Forget” missiles weighing up to 34 kg, 13 of which weigh up to 442 kg, can be one of the types of missiles that can be used in the Gaza reconnaissance combat drone.

Shahed-149 (Gaza) drone specifications:
Length: 11 m
Wingspan: 21 m
Height: 3.8 m
Range: 2,000 km
Service ceiling: 35,000 ft (10,668 m)
Endurance: 35 hours
Powerplant: Turboprop ~ 650 shp
Speed: 350 km/h
Gross weight: 3,100 kg
Armament: Up to 13 missiles
Origin: Iran

More Images:

Read more:
Iran’s IRGC unveils new reconnaissance combat drone ‘Gaza’ + Images and video
Video: Gaza reconnaissance combat drone

Shahed-149 (Gaza) drone posters in Arabic, Russian, Farsi, Hebrew, Azeri and Kurdish:

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