By: Jabbar Fazeli, MD
The German federal prosecutors charged an Iranian and a Iranian-German for smuggling UAV engines to Iran.
The engines were for the wildly used Iranian Ababil III UAVs; the downed Iranian UAV over Iraq in 2009 is believed to be of this type and model.
"The Ababil III is believed to have a maximum range of about 145 kilometers (90 miles) and can fly up to 4,300 meters (14,000 feet) high. It is primarily designed for surveillance and intelligence-gathering, although German prosecutors said it can also be used as an attack drone."(1)
This story brings into light the Iranian dependence on the outside world for critical components of military equipment.
They can make tanks, but they can't build reliable Iranian made tank engines.
They can make UAVs, but they need to have them fitted with smuggled German engines.
Iranian industry has been plagued by such "built in dependence" since the first Paykan was built in Iran based on a British design. Everything in the Paykan was Iranian except that engine.