Iran kicks off large-scale naval drill in Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman

Press TV – Iranian naval forces on Friday started a massive three-day drill, codenamed “Velayat 97”, in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

The drill is being held in an area of two million square kilometers, from the Strait of Hormuz to the southeastern coasts of Makran, the Sea of Oman and the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, down to the 10-degrees latitude.

The war game is composed of four separate phases, including naval parades, simulation of a real naval war, maritime and land offense to practice recapturing the territories occupied by the enemy, and the display of the Navy’s power by launching various types of missiles and torpedoes, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said Thursday.

For the first time, the Iranian navy is to fly patrol, reconnaissance and bomber drones during the drill, he added. Submarines will launch missiles in the drill for the first time, and anti-submarine helicopters will also land on and take off from the deck of Sahand destroyer, Tasnim news agency reported.

Electronic warfare tactics and electronic data transmission from the coast are among other parts of the exercise, he said.

The drill comes a couple of months after IRGC forces, including a brigade from the IRGC Navy, held the country’s first offensive war game, named Great Prophet 12, near the Qeshm Island in Persian Gulf.

Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy’s deputy commander had declared the forces would hold two weeks of drills in the Indian Ocean in late February.

“In these exercises, we will display the Islamic Republic’s power in the region with the aim of establishing security,” he noted.