Iranian Armed Forces Unveil Latest Precision Strike Drone

Iran’s Defense Ministry unveils the latest precision unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by the country’s armed forces.

Ababil (flock of birds), as the new drone is named, was unveiled during a visit by Speaker of Parliament Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf to an exhibition organized by the ministry on Saturday, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.

The latest achievement of the armed forces in the field of unmanned aircraft is a drone carrying cruise missiles with high destructive power.

The aircraft was fitted with an optical seeker and a warhead capable of detecting targets. It is also capable of capturing and relaying live images of targets, locking onto ground targets and destroying them with precision.

Iran’s armed forces have yet to disclose the exact flight range of the new drone and its destructive power.

Last August, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced that the country had become an exporter of military drones and that the Islamic Republic held the upper hand in defensive aerospace technology.

“In the military domain, we did not have, in the past, the capacities which we enjoy today. In the past, we imported [even] barbed wire, but now we are exporting drones,” Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s aerospace division, said at the time.

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A month earlier, the Iranian Navy had incorporated a special division responsible for transporting and operating various drones.

The Navy’s first UAV carrier division, made up of different surface and submersible units, was unveiled in a ceremony held in international waters in the Indian Ocean.

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The division is capable of carrying various combat, surveillance and kamikaze drones and has joined the country’s southern fleet.

Testifying before Congress last year, the head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said Iran’s widespread use of drones meant the US was operating without complete air superiority for the first time since the Korean War.