Publishe Date: 4:11 PM - 4/12/2014 | Print

Iran to stage specialized drone drill: Commander

Politics - An Iranian military commander says the Islamic Republic will stage specialized drone maneuvers for the first time ever to display the country’s military might.

Reconnaissance and combat drones will take part in the drills, said Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan on Saturday.

He added that the country has, so far, been using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as a single unit in military exercises, “but this [Iranian calendar] year, we have decided to stage specialized drone maneuvers given the drone potentialities in the country.”

The commander emphasized that the exercises would be held to show off the military powers of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces as well as to identify and remove potential points of weakness.

Pourdastan further noted that the country has also plans to increase the range and precision of its domestically made missiles, including the Nazeat missile.

Last November, Iran unveiled its biggest remote-controlled UAV, dubbed Fotros, to be used for reconnaissance and combat operations.

The strategic UAV has an operational radius of up to 2,000 kilometers, an operational altitude of 25,000 feet and flight endurance of up to 30 hours. It also has the potential to carry out combat operations once armed with air-to-surface missiles and other types of rockets.

Iran unveiled its first domestically manufactured long-range combat drone, the Karrar (Striker), on August 23, 2010. It reportedly has an operational radius of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can carry two 115-kilogram bombs or precision-guided munitions weighing 227 kilograms.

The first Iranian medium-altitude long-endurance UAV, the Shahed-129 (Witness-129), was unveiled in September 2012, which is capable of carrying out combat and reconnaissance missions for 24 hours.

Tehran has repeatedly assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to other countries since the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

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