After the spotting of Iranian Yasir UAVs in Syria, it appears another Iranian made drone took to the Syrian skies: The Shahed 129 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV). Footage of the UCAV, overflying East Ghouta, Damascus can be seen here, here and here.
The Shahed 129 was unveiled in late 2012 and entered mass production in September 2013 for the Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. According to Iranian sources the Shahed 129 has an operational radius of 1,700 km, a monitoring capability of 200 km and a flight endurance of twenty-four hours while flying at 7,315 m (24.000 feet).
The Shahed 129 flying over Eastern Ghouta likely belongs to the third batch manufactured. Apart from the possibility to carry weapons and the retractable landing gear already seen in the second batch, the antenna, enlarged propellers and a new v-tail appear to be the most recent additions. Reports about an enlarged nose section similar to the MQ-9 Reaper are false. A logical mistake caused by the reflection of sunlight.
The Shahed 129 could turn out to be a true game-changer for Assad. It is also capable of effectively taking over some roles of the air force's fighter-bombers and helicopters, which are already overstretched. The Shahed 129s are likely to be bassed at Mezze AFB.
The sighting the of Shahed 129, obviously Iranian operated and delivered on board on one of the many Iranian transport flights to Syria, shows the extent to which the Iranians are prepared to support Assad. It's only a question of time before more Iranian weapons are spotted in Syria.
Iran deploying her newest drones to Syria; The Yasir UAV