TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that the Islamic Republic’s warships are now carrying pilotless planes for overseas operations.
“Many of the Navy’s warships are equipped with drones and drone systems which are used whenever needed,” Sayyari said in a press conference in Tehran on Sunday.
Asked if the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are used for oversea missions in the Gulf of Aden where the Iranian fleet of warships are deployed to fight the pirates, he reiterated his earlier remarks, saying the Iranian warships use their UAVs wherever and whenever need. “If needed, we will use such drones in different areas.”
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems, including the UAVs.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam Reza Khadem Biqam announced earlier this month that the Iranian Navy is equipped with various types of long-range UAVs, including intelligence gathering and combat drones.
“At present, the Navy is in possession of drones in proper sizes and with good range that are used for our intelligence domination in the region,” Khadem Biqam told FNA.
Noting that the Navy which also sends its fleet of warships to the oversea missions is equipped with different types of UAVs, he said his forces are equipped with various types of combat drones.
Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy dispatched its 27th flotilla of warships to the high seas to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.
According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.
The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.
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