Iran’s Army fires Azarakhsh missile in large-scale drone exercise

January 6, 2021 - 18:57

TEHRAN – The Iranian Army’s Karrar-class drone on Wednesday fired an air-to-air Azarakhsh (Thunderbolt) missile at mock hostile targets during a large-scale drill involving combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

It came on the second day of a drone exercise in the northern province of Semnan, where hundreds of drones belonging to the Army’s ground, navy, and air defense forces are practicing combat missions.

During the Wednesday maneuver, the Karrar UAV used a payload of machine gun ammunition to fire rounds at mock aerial targets, Press TV reported.

The drone also struck targets on the ground, including enemy fortifications, using 500-pound MK 82 bombs.

Also as part of the exercise, the Army’s Ababil-class drones successfully fired air-to-surface Almas missiles, which precisely hit their specific targets.

Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, the Army deputy chief for operations, said the drill also focused on using drones to constantly monitor border lines.

“At this stage of the exercise, a number of Army drones successfully carried out reconnaissance operations against fixed and mobile targets along land borders,” Mousavi explained.

“Today, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran is able to strongly respond to any enemy aggression and target positions within a range of 2,000 kilometers using a variety of long-range combat drones,” the Army official added.

On Tuesday, the first day of the military exercise, Mousavi said the Islamic Republic is one of the world’s most powerful countries in the field of UAVs.

“During the Army’s large-scale exercise, different types of drone systems in the Army’s ground, air defense, air and navy forces will perform defined missions in real combat conditions,” he added.

The commander also said that the operational part of the drill features the widespread use of kamikaze drones as well as the aerial interception and destruction of targets by air-to-air missiles, along with the destruction of ground targets with bombs and precision-guided missiles.

Navy drones, he noted, practice flying from vessels in the southern waters of the country, while long-range kamikaze drones drill precision strikes on vital targets in the depth of the enemy territory.

The participating drone units also monitor land, air and sea borders, Mousavi said.

An exhibition was also held on the sidelines of the drill, showcasing the Army’s new achievements in the field of drones.

Separately on Tuesday, Army’s deputy chief Hossein Dadras said the main message of the exercise is the establishment of peace and security in the region without any need for foreign presence or intervention.

“The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran regularly upgrades its equipment and holds specialized exercises and combat trainings in accordance with the threats posed by extra-regional countries and enemies,” the brigadier general said.

“Despite the cruel sanctions of the sworn enemies of the Islamic establishment, the capabilities and perseverance of Iran's youth have led us to reach a stage of self-sufficiency in the field of production of new equipment that can compete with those of the developed countries.”

Iran has taken great strides seeking to attain self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and defense systems in the face of decades-long sanctions and arms embargoes on the country.

The Islamic Republic produces a wide variety of advanced weapons systems and equipment based on its own technological capabilities.


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