Arash, a shoulder-launched gun, was unveiled in an exhibition of the weapons and equipment of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force on Wednesday and can also be used against ground and armored targets and enemy trenches.
Arash weighs between 18 to 20 kilograms, fires 20mm bullets and can be used to target hostile helicopters in a range of 2,000 to 2,200 meters.
The 180cm-long weapon is also equipped with optical cameras.
Iran has made major breakthroughs in arms production in the last three decades. Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.
In February, the IRGC test-fired a shoulder-launched weapon with the capability of shooting down choppers in its massive wargames, codenamed Payambar-e Azam 8 (The Great Prophet 8), in Southern Iran. The gun could be Arash, but military officials did not mention its name then.
Elaborating on the missions of the drills, Spokesman of the Wargames General Hamid Sarkheili told reporters that the new shoulder-launched anti-chopper weapons which have been designed and produced by the IRGC’s local experts would be delivered to the operating units in the wargames.
“The 20-mm shoulder-launched missile is an anti-chopper weapon which can hit targets from a distance of 1,400 meters,” Sarkheili stated.
The commander noted that “the new missile launcher is unique and has no foreign rival”.
The IRGC drills are aimed at maintaining and improving the combat preparedness of the IRGC Ground Forces, testing the latest combat systems of the IRGC Ground Force and exercising different asymmetric warfare tactics.
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