Commander: Indigenousness is biggest advantage of Iranian drones

October 16, 2021 - 19:2

TEHRAN — The biggest advantage of Iran's drones is that the armed forces use completely indigenous technology in manufacturing, using, and overhauling them, the commander of Hazrat Vali-e-Asr UAV Group of the Army Ground Forces has said.

"The biggest advantage we have over drones in the region and the world is that our UAVs are indigenous and completely Iranian, that is, we have used and continue to use a completely indigenous technology in construction, use, and overhaul. We are not dependent on any country in supplying the UAV production chain, and this is our biggest advantage. It is possible for us to replace this cycle and continue it," Brigadier General Shahram Hassannejad said in an interview with IRNA published on Saturday. 

Iranian drones had been designed and manufactured in accordance with the regional conditions in terms of climate and strategic areas of different parts of the country, the commander highlighted.

"Iran has different weather seasons and our ‘birds’ can perform missions in different weather conditions, in the sea, mountains, desert and in different climatic conditions," the military official explained.

Referred to an increase in the combat capability of the Armed Forces after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, he said, "What is happening today in the Ground Forces and the Armed Forces is the result of deep thought and a very valuable experience from eight years of sacred defense. Eight years of sacred defense is a sustainable source that we have used and will use many times."

Drones have been adapted to diverse weather conditions

The sacred defense refers to resistance against the invading Saddam Hussein army against Iran in the 1980s. The war that Saddam launched against Iran in September 1980 lasted until August 1988.

The commander stated achieving high-tech science and capabilities in the field of drones is the result of the experiences that Armed Forces had gained during the eight years of sacred defense, noting that "at that time, we wanted to be able to identify and monitor mountainous areas to stop the enemy."

Explaining the necessities of using UAVs in today's wars, the commander said: "The idea of using UAVs was in fact according to the orders of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution. He said in one of his speeches that the navy had drones before the revolution, and advised that the Army should strengthen these drones and do something that is in line with the current situation, so the army entered this field by observing the Leader's orders."

Stating that the army ground forces have seriously entered the field of UAVs over the past 12 years, the general said that in the early years, the needs and requirements for reconnaissance and surveillance in drills, actions near borders, and the domestic areas created a new mindset in the armed forces. 

At that time, he said, drones were only for reconnaissance and surveillance.

The ground forces have left the defense strategy behind

He said the Army Ground Forces succeeded to master the technology to produce drones despite sanctions, adding that drones are the result of creativity by the youth in the army and other organizations

"Sanctions and maximum pressure did not prevent the designers, and today we have very good conditions in the field of UAVs, so we passed production of the reconnaissance and surveillance UAVs."

General Hassannejad highlighted that today the strategy of the ground forces has departed from a purely defensive force and it now has an “offensive view”. 

With that in mind, he said, simply having UAVs for reconnaissance could not meet the ground forces' needs.

"In the last five years, we have gone through reconnaissance and surveillance UAVs, which of course we have a deep look at, to multi-role combat, and suicide drones, and more recently to basic electronic warfare drones so that we can conduct electronic warfare in managing the operational scene."

The general also commented on training of UAV pilots. 

"As the name of these UAVs indicates, the UAV is a remotely piloted aircraft and the pilots are present at the flight control stations and the UAV has its mission miles away from the pilot's base."

Hassannejad stated that the training of UAV pilots was centralized based on the needs of the forces. 

The forces, after passing the officer training course, spend the course of piloting and controlling special UAV in that relevant unit, he explained. 

Fortunately, in recent years, very good measures have been taken both in the field of training UAV pilots and in the field of training technical personnel.

Referring to the progress in Iranian products in recent years, the military official stressed that most of the drones were produced by the defense industry and these products were used in operational units such as the Hazrat Vali-e-Asr Ajalullah UAV group.

Round-the-clock readiness to carry out missions 

Elsewhere in his remarks, General Hassannejad said the durability of flights and operational range of Iranian drones were such that UAV Group of the Army Ground Forces can carry out reconnaissance, surveillance, and even combat missions round-the-clock, wherever it is intended and communicated to it.

The commander also reiterated reality was that the wars are not like the past or in a classical form. 

Wars and conflicts have shifted to impact-oriented wars and the use of enemy operational depth, he said, adding with this view, wars have also changed in terms of content and form.

"The use of drones supports part of the idea that we should look for new equipment to be more effective on the enemy."

Hassannejad stated: "Today, we can penetrate the enemy's operational depth with drones and take direct actions that will have a great impact on the enemy forces. In addition, pre-determined and sensitive areas can be hit using drones."

We are ready to use all kinds of drones

Referring to the changes in the form and content of wars and the use of electronic tools, the general said: "UAVs have the ability to make extensive use of electronic warfare technology and prepare the ground for operations and combat operations of the ground, naval and air forces."

"We consider ourselves the defenders of this nation and people and we are at the forefront of defending this country. Wherever it is felt that the ground forces can demonstrate their capabilities to protect the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is there, and it has proved this spirit and readiness in eight years of sacred defense."

U.S. commander confesses to Iran's drone capability

Regarding the UAV capability of the Armed Forces, especially the Army Ground Forces in the region and the world, the commander added: "The commander of the American forces in the region has said that the air superiority in the region is not in our hands due to the large presence of drones of the Iranian armed forces. I think these remarks show the power of Iranian drone in the region."

"We are in a good position in the national and regional arenas," said the general, stating that all armed forces make extensive use of drones, and support from the defense industry, and the armed forces were moving to conduct small and large operations using drones, even in their small units.

The commander of the UAV group of the Army Ground Forces stated that the performance of manned UAVs had also increased tremendously in recent years


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