Explore dynamic case studies and interact with the data from CAR’s Ukraine investigations in the Ukraine iTrace Resource Centre.

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CAR has determined that a ballistic missile produced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and recovered in Ukraine includes more than 290 non-domestic electronic components. Seventy-five per cent of the components documented are linked to companies incorporated in the United States.

On 10 and 11 January 2024, a CAR field investigation team physically documented the remnants of a ballistic missile that struck Kharkiv earlier that month. Based on several unique features observed during documentation, CAR determined that this missile was manufactured in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and is probably a KN-23 or KN-24.

CAR investigators have documented the remains of two ‘universal planning and correction’ modules that can be attached to Russian FAB-250 or FAB-500 general purpose air-dropped munitions. The use of such ‘dumb’ bombs has become a regular feature in the conflict in Ukraine in 2023.

In July 2023, Conflict Armament Research (CAR) investigators physically documented the remnants of two Geran-2 single-use uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) that Russian forces had deployed in Ukraine earlier that month. Through a detailed analysis of their design characteristics and key components—in comparison with UAVs previously documented in Ukraine—CAR assesses that the Russian Federation has started producing and fielding its own domestic version of the Shahed-136.

CAR has identified an Iranian company, Sarmad Electronic Sepahan Co., as the producer of two types of components that investigators have documented in UAVs used by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. At the time of publication, Sarmad Electronic was not listed on United Nations, European Union, or United States sanction lists and had not previously been known to be involved in Iran’s domestic UAV production.

In April 2023 a CAR field investigation team discovered the presence of a voltage converter that was marked as having been manufactured between 9 and 15 January 2023 – the first component that CAR has observed that was produced after the Russian Federation started deploying Iranian-made UAVs in Ukraine.

In March 2023, CAR investigators observed components manufactured after the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022. This is the first discovery of post-invasion components in Russian weapon systems in Ukraine and is a significant landmark in the investigation of Russian acquisition patterns.

In this Dispatch, CAR presents new evidence that conclusively shows, for the first time in the public domain, that the Iran-based company One Parvaz Mado Nafar (Mado) is the producer of engines found in Shahed-136 UAVs in Ukraine. 

In January 2023, a CAR field investigation team documented the warhead of an Iranian Shahed-131 single-use UAV. This is the first time that analysis of these warheads has been released in the public domain.


Issue 4 – December 2022

*Updated, December 2023

CAR investigators document new evidence that cruise missiles deployed by Russian Federation forces in Kyiv were almost certainly manufactured at most two months prior to their use, showing that Russia is able to manufacture guided weapons despite months of sanctions.

The Russian Federation’s use of Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Ukraine represents a notable development in the evolution of the conflict. CAR’s analysis demonstrates that these UAVs did originate in Iran and include many recently manufactured components produced in companies mostly based in the United States.

CAR investigations indicate that the Russian defence industry uses identical sets of components across different weapon systems, including Kh-101, Kh-50, and 9M544 missiles.

Field investigators documenting advanced weapon systems and communication equipment that the Russian Federation used in the war in Ukraine have found that these items contain components produced by companies based in Europe and the United States.


Explore dynamic case studies and interact with the data from CAR’s Syria investigations in the North-east Syria iTrace Resource Centre

CAR investigators have documented hundreds of standardized sound suppressors that local security forces recovered from two IS prison break operations. CAR’s analysis of these suppressors shows that they were manufactured locally by IS operatives.

CAR investigators have identified a significant number of Type 68 assault rifles, manufactured in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in a series of high-profile ‘prison break’ seizures in north-east Syria. These rifles are rarely observed in CAR’s global data set, and their presence in relatively high quantities in these seizures is particularly unusual.

CAR investigators in north-east Syria have documented materiel recovered from Islamic State (IS) forces after three high-profile ‘prison breaks.’ In each recovery, CAR has observed weapons bearing a distinctive secondary marking. This mark, applied across a disparate set of materiel, identifies these weapons as having shared a common custodian, which CAR believes to be the Syrian National Army.