Iran is supplying the Sudanese army with "Muhajir 6" drones, according to reports by Bloomberg, quoting three Western officials, who requested to remain anonymous.
Manufactured in Iran by the Al-Quds Aerospace Industries Company, the single-engine drone carries precision-guided munitions.
Analysts who examined satellite images confirmed the presence of the drone in Sudan, according to Bloomberg.
Dutch expert in the field of drones, Wim Zweigenberg, said that among the evidence proving the presence of the “Muhajir 6” plane in Sudan is a satellite image taken on January 9 of the plane at the Wadi Sedna air base north of the capital, Khartoum.
Zwigenberg added that the wings of the plane shown in the picture only match the "Migrant 6" plane. The expert also identified the presence of a radio antenna from a control centre inside a truck at the airstrip as a common sight where the“Muhajir 6” aircraft is operated.
He said that footage circulated on social media of the wreckage of a small plane shot down by Rapid Support Forces militants in January clearly showed the remains of the drone's tail. Intelligence analyst Jacob Janowski also confirmed that the characteristics of the drone shown in the satellite images exactly match those of the "Migrant-6".
According to Bloomberg, a Sudanese army spokesman did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the Iranian Foreign Ministry and Tehran’s mission to the United Nations.
Alan Boswell, director of the Horn of Africa Project at the International Crisis Group, believes that Tehran's restoration of an ally in Sudan, especially along the Red Sea, would be a major win for Iran, but would raise concerns among other regional and Western powers.
Bloomberg said Iran's intervention in the nine-month-long conflict in Sudan alongside the army, which has lost large areas of territory to the Rapid Support Forces, increases the risks for the North African country, which is already on the verge of famine. It also highlights the importance of Sudan's coast on the Red Sea, which is about 640 km long, as countries such as China, Russia, and Turkey compete to reach it, according to Bloomberg.
The United States says that Iran has already supplied drones to Hezbollah, Hamas, Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq, the Houthis, and the Ethiopian army.
Shahed-6 aircraft are used in reconnaissance strikes and are equipped with four laser-guided missiles with a total weight of 40 kg, and their attacks are specifically directed against armored vehicles or weapons depots.
Iran announced the introduction of the aircraft into its arsenal of drones in 2017, and delivered several of them to Ethiopia, Venezuela.