It’s military exercise season in Iran, as the country’s air force began nationwide drills on October 21st.
These come after Naval drills in the Caspian Sea, combined drills along the Azerbaijan border, as well as air and missile defense exercises all in the past weeks.
Iranian Army’s Air Force has showcased its capabilities during a large-scale aerial exercise, which included hitting targets with homegrown Yasin-90 standoff missile and domestically-produced rockets.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) began the nationwide drills, codenamed Fada’eeyan-e Harim-e Velayat (Devotees of the Velayat Sanctuary).
Commander of the IRIAF Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi said all IRIAF units had taken part in the drills, noting that aerial targets at different altitudes as well as ground targets were destroyed using smart and upgraded versions of the country’s indigenous heavy and semi-heavy bombs, laser missiles and rockets.
“Prior to the operational phase of the exercise, RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft equipped with homegrown and advanced ‘Samat’ cameras, Kaman-12 (Bow-12) drones, and P-3F sea patrol aircraft collected signal data, engaged in electronic eavesdropping and photographing the area of the exercise,” he explained.
Vahedi said that F-4 and F-5 fighter bombers equipped with precision-guided missiles and the F-7 fighter jet equipped with homegrown Yasin-90 standoff missile and domestically-produced rockets successfully destroyed vital mock enemy targets on land and at sea.
“The IRIAF’s strategic Sukhoi Su-24 bombers also carried out surprise long-range operations, hitting vital targets as well as ground radars of the [hypothetical] enemy using optimized laser and radar-equipped missiles,” he added.
According to Vahedi, Mirage F1 fighters and F-4 bombers flew at low altitudes and successfully practiced air interception operations while accompanied by F-14 fighters.
“Also, F-5 and MiG-29 fighters conducted air combat operations … during which the missile fired by the mock enemy aircraft was tracked and destroyed by air-to-air missiles,” the commander added.
Just a week earlier, Iran tested its air and missile defense systems in a military exercise.
The commander of the country’s Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base said building a strong and multi-layered defense against cruise missile attacks was one of the goals of the joint specialized air defense drills, which were carried out by different defense systems of the Army and the IRGC.
The air defense systems are “fully prepared to protect the country’s sensitive and vital facilities by forming safe layers of defense,” Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh said on the sidelines of the drills.
Rahimzadeh also said that the Army’s indigenous Joshan and Khatam air defense systems shot down targets during the exercise.
“Continuing the main phase of the exercise, the Joshan and Khatam indigenous air defense systems of the Army Air Defense Force destroyed hostile targets that intended to infiltrate the exercise area at low altitude,” he said.
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