Iranian Army unveils 7 important new drone technologies in the drill

January 10, 2021 - 7:45

TEHRAN – On January 5-6, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army staged its first-ever drone drill using its quadruple forces in the Semnan public area and border areas of the country. This was a unique drill unveiling a wide range of technologies that military experts did not expect Iranian Army would possess.

The first footage released by the Army showed a very long runaway covered in full-length with hundreds of different types of operational drones. Some of those drones were later identified to be from classes of Mohajer, Ababil, Kaman-12, Arash, Kian, Simorq, Sa’eqeh, Hazem, etc.
The diversity of Army's drones was just the appetizer before the happy meal Army had provided for those seeking any hostility in the region. The technologies used by the Army to upgrade operational capabilities of the drones were the main surprise. Here is the list of 7 new features installed in different homemade drones of the Iranian Army which military experts will be talking about for the coming days.

1- Karrar drone, equipped with Azarakhsh missile

Karrar is mainly from "tracking drones" class which is now part of the tracking & targeting family. In part of this drill, Karrar tracked a target in the air and fired an air-to-air Azarakhsh missile successfully destroying it. This was the first time Karrar had ever been put into practice for a targeting and destroying mission. Karrar had previously been used during Army's tracking missions and before that, it was merely a suicide drone. But now it has the ability to track, target and fire air-to-air missiles which gives it higher operational sufficiency. A couple of months ago, during the Zolfaqar 99 military drill in Jask, Karrar had successfully tracked three American drones (types RQ-4, MQ-9, P-8) and forced them to leave the drills' public area.

2- Karrar drone, equipped with heavy automatic machine gun

The second surprise also came from Karrar class. Drones' nose had something different coming out which attracted the attention. A three-barrel machine gun with high rate of fire which could be used both for warning shots or engaging the enemy aircraft on the air. These new installations turn the Karrar class into a full house battle air fighter which contrary to the previous versions, can engage the enemy and come back home safe and sound.

3- Introducing the "Diamond" missile fired by Ababil class drone 

Diamond missile which was previously produced and successfully tested by the army, is an air-to-surface high accuracy missile from the "top attack" class missiles. This missile, due to its similarities to Israel's "Spike", attracted a lot of attention among military experts upon unveiling by the Iranian Army a while ago. As its class name implies, this missile attacks from the top and destroys any target within the range of 8 kilometers. It was mainly designed to penetrate the heavily armored targets like tanks from above because of the weaker armor. It was also the first time Ababil drone was being seen while carrying and firing this type of missile. Ababil successfully targeted and destroyed targets on the ground using this missile.

4- Kaman-12 drone, equipped with a wide range of new armaments

Kaman-12 drone was the Army's first battle drone produced in 2018. It was first introduced to public during Eqtedar-40 military exhibition. The "Self-sufficiency Movement of the Iranian Army" was in charge of designing and producing this fully Iranian drone. From the beginning, this drone had the ability of being equipped with wide range of weapons, but until the January 5-6 drill, Akhgar missile was the only weaponry it had ever carried and used. During the drill, new armaments were attached to this drone, giving it a full battle capability and a brand new somehow terrifying looks. It now has the ability to use smart accurate Qaem missiles, Diamond missiles and 25 millimeter rockets. With an operational radius of 1000 kilometers, a top speed of over 200 kilometers per hour, flight continuity of more than 10 hours, ability to carry shipments weighing 100 kg, and a maximum takeoff weight of 450 kg, this little thing can be a nightmare for any heavily or lightly armored vehicle moving on the ground.

5- Launching suicide drones from a portable container

Suicide drone or "loitering munition" or "kamikaze drone" is a weapon system category in which the drone flies around the target for some time and after locating it precisely, attacks. Loitering munitions enable faster reaction times against concealed or hidden targets that emerge for short periods without placing high-value platforms close to the target area, and also allow more selective targeting as the actual attack mission can be aborted. For those armies having this type of weaponry at their disposal, "portability" is one of the main challenges of using it against the enemy. The recent drill proved that the Iranian Army has now conquered this challenge and can launch the Arash suicide drone from portable containers which even normal cars can carry. This increases the mobility and displacement power of suicide drones during the camouflage. Arash drone from loitering munition class was first manufactured to destroy and paralyze enemy radar systems and now can target sensitive vital infrastructures.

6- Conducting long range drone missions in Makran coasts

Launching suicide drones from Makran coasts and hitting the target deep inside the Semnan public area means successfully tracking, targeting and hitting a target 1400 kilometers away from the launch point. Performing long range drone operations was one of the focuses of the Army's recent drill. The Iranian Army stated during the drill that it can increase the operational range of its suicide drones up to 2000 kilometers now and with certain preparations, a 4000 radius operation range can be achieved for deployment of this drone class. The "certain preparations" here means in case the Army plans to give up its drone on the scene – the purpose this class of drones is designed for – it can target and hit the enemy 4000 kilometers away from the launching point; as called by some, a one-way trip to the heart of enemy lines.

7- Introducing the "air-based drones"

Another achievement of Iran's Army unveiled during the drill was a new class of drones called the air-based. These drones are mainly from the suicide squad family but slightly different: they can be launched by a helicopter hovering on the air.

* The information employed to write this article was mainly provided by the Fars News Agency


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