The Iranian armed forces have acquired three bomb-carrying drones with a range of 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), Defense Minister Amir Hatami said on Saturday.

Speaking at a ceremony on the delivery of the unmanned aerial vehicles, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said the Army is receiving three types of pilotless aircraft manufactured by domestic defense industries, universities and knowledge-based companies.

He said the three drones can carry out a broad range of operations for the Air Force and Air Defense, noting that the new products can be employed as target planes for the Air Defense missions and also in deception operations in the enemy’s air defense network.

According to the defense minister, the Army can utilize the new aircraft as reconnaissance drones to detect hostile moves along the country’s borders within a remarkable range.

“As the drones have been equipped with various types of bombs and missiles, they can be utilized by the forces in combat missions,” General Hatami added.

Additionally, the defence minister noted, the UAVs can be used as decoy targets in air defence, and for deception operations inside an adversary’s air defence network.

“These drones will help ensure a safer Iran and perform air defence operations with more power,” Hatami stressed, adding that they were built by domestic defence industries on the basis of designs created at the nation’s universities and knowledge-based companies.The drones, said to include the Karrar (‘Striker), Ababil-3 (‘Swallow-3’) and an unnamed ‘multipurpose jet-engine-powered’ drone, have operational ranges of up to 1,000 km, flight ceilings of 40,000-45,000 feet, and a flight duration of between three and eight hours.

Fars News Agency published the above mashup video showing off Iran’s drone capabilities.

In October 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Iran has begun deploying missiles in Yemen in order to strike Israel.

Netanyahu warned at the time, “Iran is already aspiring to obtain precision weapons to hit every target in the Middle East… they manufacture them in Iran and want to deploy them in Iraq and in Syria, and turn the 130,000-rocket arsenal in Lebanon into precision munitions. They aspire to do that, and they have already begun deploying them in Yemen in order to strike Israel from there as well.”

Sources: Haaretz; The IranianTasnim News Agency 

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