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DIMDEX 2024: Iran promotes Gaza UAV for export

The Gaza UAV displayed at the Iranian stand at DIMDEX 2024. (Janes/Ajay Shankar Pandey)

Iran promoted its Gaza unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for export for the first time at the DIMDEX 2024 show held in Doha from 4 to 6 March.

A model of the Gaza UAV was displayed at the Iranian stand and it was detailed in a brochure alongside the M129, which is the export name of the Shahed-129, the Iranian military's primary long-endurance UAV.

After the Gaza was unveiled in May 2021, it was reported to have a wingspan of 21 m and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 3,100 kg, making it considerably larger than the Shahed-129, which has a wingspan of 15 m and an MTOW of 1,150 kg with a 400 kg payload.

However, according to the brochure, the Gaza has an MTOW of 3,740 kg, although only 500 kg of this is payload. It said the UAV has a 750 hp turboprop engine in contrast to the 115 hp piston engine used by the M129, has a considerably higher operational ceiling of 35,000 ft, a higher maximum speed of 350 km, and a longer endurance of 24 h, compared with the M129's 25,000 ft, 220 km, and 20 h respectively.

The Gaza has four hardpoints, so it can carry up to eight weapons using racks, while the Shahed-129 has two hardpoints.

The brochure also covered the M133, a smaller type that has been seen in service with the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGCAF), but seemingly has not been officially identified, although it is presumably the Shahed-133.

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