On September 10, the Iranian military started large naval drills dubbed “Zolfaqar 99” in the country’s southern waters and in international waters under the slogan “Sustainable security in the shadow of defense authority.”
Units of the Navy, Air Force, and Army Ground Forces are participating in the drills, which are taking place in the eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and North Indian Ocean.
According to Deputy Coordinator of the Iranian military, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the main stages of the “Zolfaqar 99” joint drills will continue for three days. The drills will be carried out in three stages: intelligence, tactics, and demonstration of power.
Warships, submarines, aircraft, air-defense systems and many other equipment and weapons are being employed in the drills.
“The 69th Navy Fleet consisting of the Sahand Destroyer and the Bandar Abbas Auxiliary Ship, which are now in the Indian Ocean, while conducting intelligence and monitoring foreign and enemy vessels thousands of kilometers away from Iranian territorial waters, provide the necessary information to other units present in the exercise to carry out counter operations,” Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, a spokesman for the drills said, adding “Moreover, the flying units of the army air force consisting of bomber fighters as well as combat drones will carry out pre-determined plans in this exercise.”
The drills saw a successful test of the Shalamcheh air-defense system, a locally upgraded copy of the U.S.-made MIM-23 Hawk system. Many other advanced domestically-developed systems are set to be tested during the drills.
The Iranian military is constantly training and working to improve its offensive capabilities to counter the ever growing threats posed by the U.S. and Israel.
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