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Iran holds large-scale drone military exercise

Iranian drone in Iran on 11 September 2020 [Iranian Army office/AFP/Getty Images]
Iranian drone in Iran on 11 September 2020 [Iranian Army office/AFP/Getty Images]

The Iranian military has today carried out its second day of large-scale drills showcasing a wide array of domestically-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Yesterday speaking about the first drone combat exercise in the Semnan province, Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari said: "A large variety of drones with range of 20 km to 1,000 km have been showcased in this exhibition."

"The displayed drones in this exhibition have the ability to evade detection by radar and can deal with a variety of targets," he added.

"All the parts and equipment used in the construction of the drones are produced by the Army Ground Forces themselves."

According to Iranian news outlets, today's drill involved war games which included several divisions of the Iranian Army and the domestically-developed "Karrar" drones. The drones reportedly successfully detonated "hostile targets" with air-to-air missiles at high altitudes.

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During the drills, the Karrar UAV also used a payload of machine gun ammunition to fire rounds at mock aerial targets. The drone also struck targets on the ground using 500-pound MK 82 bombs.

According to Tasnim News Agency, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri and Army Commander Rahim Mousavi inspected the site of the drone exercise. Speaking at the ceremony, Major General Bagheri said: "The fingers of our heroic armed forces are on the trigger, and if enemies commit the slightest mistake, the armed forces will surely respond fiercely."

Despite decades of sanctions, Iran has managed to develop a large domestic arms industry. Yesterday the army's Deputy Chief Mohammad Hossein Dadras said the "cruel sanctions" had led Iran to reach a stage of self-sufficiency in the field of producing new weapons and equipment that can compete with those of developed countries.

The drills come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US and its regional allies and follows the first anniversary of the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

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