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Unveiling Product 358: Is it a Missile or an Aerial Drone? Russian Defense Minister’s Visit to Iran Raises Questions

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Russian Defense Minister Visits Iran, Discovers Unusual Bird Model

During a recent visit to Iran, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu came across a unique bird model referred to as “Product 358.” Experts are still unsure about its classification, debating whether it should be considered a missile or an aerial drone. Tehran has reportedly acknowledged its involvement in the development of these weapons, marking a significant revelation.

The Unconventional Design of Product 358

One notable feature of this airborne interceptor is its rudders, which resemble the shape of the letter “Big Russian Lancet.” However, instead of a traditional television camera, it is equipped with two rings of optical sensors and a homing thermal head. The purpose of these modifications is yet to be determined.

The Functionality and Capabilities

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According to reports, the Izdeliye 358 is launched using a solid-fuel booster platform and then activated with a turbojet engine to fly to a specific area. Once there, it hovers in the air, awaiting its target. The sensor rings on the missile are believed to be either infrared sensors that use various wavelengths to bypass heat traps or lasers.

However, experts suggest that this missile may not have the capability to destroy hypersonic aerial targets such as fighter jets. Nonetheless, it is well-suited for targeting helicopters, aerial drones, and aircraft during takeoff and landing.

Stealth and Cost-Effectiveness

In 2021, a similar missile was discovered near an Iraqi air base, highlighting its presence in the region. Despite its low cost, the missile offers numerous advantages, particularly due to its disassembled form during production. Moreover, its platforms can be concealed within regular civilian trucks, adding to its stealth capabilities.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

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