In January 2024, the RAF used 274 Shahed-131/136 kamikaze drones in Ukraine.
This count, as I have previously explained, does not include the attack from December 31 to January 1 (90 kamikaze drones), as I consider it to be an attack that began in late December 2023, i.e., planned and prepared for December.
But even if we take into account these 90 Shahed-131/136, the number will be 364, which is still much lower than the record of December 2023 - 625, excluding the same 90 drones.
Before the record-breaking December, the maximum number of raids in 2023 was 504 in September and 406 in May. In turn, there were 285 raids in October and 369 in November. In the summer, there were 201 in June, 250 in July, and 187 in August. From January to April 2023, the number of Shahed-131/136 raids per month was less than 100 units.
January 2024 showed that Russia does not have a single, proportional ammunition package to systematize the raids and develop a stable schedule of Shahed-131/136 raids. Russia remains highly dependent on supplies from Iran and its production capabilities, which, although they have increased over the past year and a half, are not enough to meet the needs of the Russian air force for systematic air strikes on Ukraine. Each record number of kamikaze drone attacks is achieved by reducing the intensity of strikes in the previous months.
In other words, by December 2023, the RAF were preparing in advance by accumulating BC. And in January 2024, the net number of air strikes was lower than in October or November.
And yet. This does not mean that Iran cannot increase production. The Islamic Republic has these capacities, and this opportunity is much greater than that of Russia itself. Therefore, it is possible that in 2024 Iran will be able to reach production rates of 600 to 800 Shahed-131/136 per month. But even this production has its ceiling, and Iran's limit is smuggling.
Smuggling helps to circumvent sanctions, but it does not replace the potential of free imports. Therefore, even for Iran, the possibilities of increasing Shahed-131/136 production are not unlimited.
It is possible that May could be the next record month for Shahed-131/136 attacks. This is due to the timing and possibilities of accumulating the maximum BC for such an indicator, as well as a series of fetish dates for the Russians, namely May 1, May 2 (a particular threat to Odesa), and May 9.