Iranian Air Force to stage nationwide drills on Thursday

October 20, 2021 - 22:5

TEHRAN — The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) is set to start a wide scale aerial exercise across the country on Thursday.

The 10th Air Force drills will be held for the first time in a decentralized form with collaboration of all Army air bases with a particular focus on the air bases of Babaei in Isfahan, Fakuri in Tabriz Vahdati in Dezful, Abdul Karimi in Bandar Abbas and Yasini in Bushehr. 

The exercise is dubbed "Air Authority of Devotees of the Sky of Velayat".

"At this stage, dozens of fighter jets, bombers, heavy and semi-heavy transport aircraft, intercepting and reconnaissance aircraft, air patrols and drones will perform the main phase and operational phase of the exercise for one day," Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi, Commander of the Army Air Force, told IRNA on Wednesday.

"In this exercise, a wide range of manned and unmanned aircraft, including Sukhoi 24 and F-4, F-5, F-7, RF-4, MiG-29, F-14, Saeghe, Boeing-707 and 747- aerial refueling airplanes, transport and support aircraft, P-3F naval patrol aircraft with a variety of drones including Karrar, Kian, Ababil, Arash and Kaman 12 equipped with rockets, guided missiles, long-range smart bombs and radar disruptors are involved,” the commander explained. 

Vahedi went on to say that the exercise is aimed at reflecting part of the combat capability of the Air Force and making the necessary preparations in guiding and controlling intercepting fighters, upgrading combat readiness, and obtaining a suitable model for battle in real conditions by using a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft. 

The commander highlighted that demonstration of airpower, a reflection of part of the capabilities and combat capability of the Air Force, training of long-range operations of fighters outside the enemy's defensive ring, the accuracy of guided bombs and rockets in air-to-ground operations and air-to-air missiles and intelligence monitoring of the area of operation are among the goals of the exercise.

"In this drill, all kinds of indigenous and upgraded systems and weapons, including heavy and semi-heavy smart bombs, all kinds of laser, television, thermal, radar missiles, rockets and bombs produced by the specialists of the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the Army Air Force will be used," the commander added. 

The brigadier general also pointed to the involvement of young personnel and Armed Forces specialists in the exercise, saying: "Young, brave and experienced pilots of the Army Air Force, using the experiences of veterans and committed and specialized technical staff will showcase their capabilities and tactics in the real combat situations."

The exercise will be led and commanded by the Air Force Command Headquarters in Tehran, he said.

Advanced, multi-layered, and secure communication systems will also be used, the commander concluded.

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