Despite its status as a regional, rather than a global power, the Islamic Republic has successfully developed and fielded a world-class collection of drones, with its designs ranging from small, slow-moving reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to multirole tactical systems and long-range jet-powered suicide drones.
Iran’s air defence troops enjoy strong capabilities in the field of drone warfare, and the country is “capable of carrying out every type” of operation involving UAVs, Air Defence Force commander Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard has said.
The commander went on to praise the Iranian defence industry’s success in the creation and production of domestically-sourced air defence systems have helped Tehran achieve self-sufficiency in the sector and to break powerful nations’ monopolies in the production of such equipment.
Recalling Iranian air defence forces’ experience in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, Sabahifard suggested that the situation today is in some ways even more precarious than it was during that brutal conflict.
Iran has a broad range of drone capabilities in its arsenal, including the Kaman-22 long-range strike drone, the Fotros multipurpose UAV, ultra-long-range rocket-powered suicide drones, tactical combat quadcopters fitted with small bombs, Pelican vertical takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) drones meant for use aboard Iranian warships, and other systems.
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