Drones take lead in final stage of Iran army war game

Tasnim– Newly-unveiled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) took an active role in the final stage of massive military exercises the Army Ground Force has staged in southeast Iran.

Iran’s Army Ground Force commenced the third day of the drill, codenamed “Muhammad Rasulullah-4” (Muhammad, the Messenger of God), on Tuesday with flying new drones for various purposes such as reconnaissance, combat, or suicide offense.

After an aerial operation by the Air Force fighter jets, the Ground Force flew its new pilotless aircraft, including a combat drone capable of dropping air-to-surface missiles.

Another drone, dubbed Oqab (Eagle), had been designed for reconnaissance, with a flight endurance of 24 hours.

In a separate operation, a Ground Force drone launched a suicide attack against a target on the ground.

But the most significant drone, a reconnaissance one used to monitor and control the exercise, is known as ‘Mohajer-2 New’.

This upgraded version of Mohajer, with the commercial name “M2-N”, can be employed for a range of military and civil operations, including aerial reconnaissance and patrol missions, traffic control, rescue and relief, cartography and oil pollution control at the sea.

Equipped with a 360-degree camera on the nose gear, Mohajer-2 New can be armed with missiles thanks to the launchers installed beneath its wings. Its operating radius has been also extended to 150 kilometers and the flight endurance has reached 6 hours, up from 1.5 hours in the previous model.

With the flight ceiling of 11,000 feet, the pilotless aircraft can travel with a maximum speed of 180 kilometers per hour. The 90-kg drone, whose wingspan measures 3.8 meters, takes off on a pneumatic launcher, because it is built with a skid instead of wheels.

The ongoing drill that began on Sunday, covers an area of more than 220,000 square kilometers southeast of Iran.

Highlights of the first and second stages included heliborne operation to deploy commandos, deployment of electronic warfare units, drone flights for intelligence operation, counterterrorism operations, intense ground battle tactics, and electronic warfare.

The Iranian armed forces hold routine military drills throughout the year.

In September, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said there will be no delay or slowdown in the country’s military tests and war games, adding that Iran has devised comprehensive defensive strategies to counter all threats.