The drones are being upgraded at the Alabuga facility near Nizhny Novgorod.

This information comes from a publication by Defense Express, citing leaked documentation from Russian manufacturers.

The publication referenced a refutation of this information by the InformNapalm community. However, the Telegram channels that published the information did so without this disclaimer. The InformNapalm community suggested that the information on the Shahed-136 upgrades might be distorted or incorrect. Nonetheless, Defense Express verified and confirmed the information.

“Unfortunately, according to the information from our sources, the work to increase the combat payload of the Shahed-136 to 90 kg has been confirmed, along with other modifications by the enemy. This is supported by slides from a presentation of design work conducted at Alabuga, aiming for minimal intervention in the structure, which means rapid implementation of solutions”, the article states.

The 90 kg combat payload installation in the Shahed-136 is achieved by transferring part of the onboard radio-electronic equipment from the nose section and part of the fuel tanks to maintain the center of mass.

The new combat payload produced by “Bakherov Institute of Mechanical Engineering” received the designation “БЧ-90” and is marked as “ОФБЗ,” likely deciphered as fragmentation-high-explosive incendiary. Based on the combat payload scheme, it features a ready-shaped charge, allowing penetration of obstacles.

Journalists also found data indicating that Russians used several Shahed-136 drones in an attack on November 25, 2023, on an object north of Zaporizhzhia. On that day, the enemy indeed launched such drones, but according to official statistics from the Air Force Command, 74 out of 75 were shot down.

The effectiveness of the 90 kg combat payload compared to the standard 50 kg is reportedly 70% higher. The explosive weight in them is 62 kg compared to 28 kg. At the same time, the increased weight of the combat payload leads to a reduction in flight range from 1350 km to 650 km under ideal weather conditions, as declared.

The report also contains data on the needs for combat payloads, indicating plans for Shahed-136 production in Russia, although without a specific timeline. According to them, 3000 thermobaric combat payloads and 7000 fragmentation-high-explosive incendiary payloads weighing 50 kg each are planned to be ordered.

Photo: open sources