Iran Tests Missiles, Unveils Drone
Iran has tested an array of anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and unveiled a new drone, the Islamic Republic's elite Revolutionary Guards announced Monday.
The display comes as a show of military readiness for a war with Israel that General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the elite unit, says is inevitable.
Medium-range surface-to-air missiles designed to knock attacking aircraft out of the sky at a range of 50 kilometers (30 miles) were fired successfully, the Guards said in a statement posted on the unit's official Sepahnews website.
The new Taer-2 missiles were part of an anti-air defense system known as Ra'ad (Thunder), the statement said.
The FARS news agency called the locally-made missiles “more advanced” than the Russian-made Buk family of missiles on which they were based.
Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, commander of the Guards' navy, also was quoted by FARS as saying that on Sunday a naval drill was held in which four missiles struck a warship-sized target, sinking it in 50 seconds.
“We have missile systems that cover all the Persian Gulf coasts and the American bases (in the region), he was quoted as saying. He added that the Revolutionary Guards would in the next six months hold “big naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.”
Nearly 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil supplies are shipped through the narrow waterway.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Guards' aerospace division charged with missile defense, also announced a new drone, dubbed Shahed 129, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles).
“It is able to carry bombs and missiles... it has the ability to fly non-stop for 24 hours, it does surveillance,” FARS quoted Hajizadeh as saying. State television showed images of the unmanned aircraft.
On Saturday, Jafari predicted that war between Israel and Iran “will eventually happen, but it is not certain where and when.”