Iran is becoming a drone superpower: The Hill

July 20, 2019 - 20:33

TEHRAN – Iran is quietly building up an arsenal of locally-produced drones that it is exporting to its allies in the region, The Hill argued in a piece published on Friday.

“Iran’s drone technology appears to be growing more sophisticated,” The Hill reported. “Since the 1980s, Iran sought to build up a force of locally produced drones.”

In January, Iran put on display a plethora of new UAVs. These included its Shahed-171 ‘stealth drone’ with precision-guided missiles and its Kaman 12 drone, which supposedly can fly to a range of 200 kilometers for up to 10 hours, according to Iranian media.

The article, written by Seth J. Frantzman, maintained that Iran wants to show off its drones, at home and abroad, to show it can get around U.S. sanctions and continue to develop this military capability. “This is why, from January to July, Iran has been conducting drone exercises and has said that it even monitored the movements of a U.S. aircraft carrier. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington designated a terrorist organization, is spearheading these recent drone efforts.”

“In any future conflict with Iran that might involve the U.S. and its allies against Iran and its proxies, the drone threat will need to be addressed,” Frantzman warned. “It already is being confronted by Israel, Saudi Arabia and others. It is a clear symbol of Iran’s growing footprint across the Middle East, which stretches from Beirut to Damascus, Baghdad and Yemen via the Gulf of Oman.”


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