Iran wraps up two-day military drill

Tehran, Dec 22: Iranian air force concluded its two- day military drill over the Persian Gulf off southern Iran Saturday.

The two-day exercise, which began Friday, was code-named Fadaian-e Harim-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of Velayat Sanctuary 4).

It was part of Iran’s annual exercises aimed at testing home-made air defense systems, improving the units’ combat readiness and displaying the country’s military might and achievements, reported Xinhua citing Brigadier General Alireza Barkhor, deputy commander of the Iranian air force.

“The results of the wargames were beyond our expectations,” Brigadier General Hossein Chitforoush, a spokesperson of the air force.

The first part of the drill involved reconnaissance missions and gathering information about combat operations, while the second part, the main phase of the drill, included combat operations, local media said.

“Different kinds of light and heavy, smart, guided bombs and rockets, optimised communication and telecommunication systems, indigenised combat equipment produced by the self-sufficiency units of the armed forces and new air combat tactics were put to test during the massive wargames,” the official said.

Despite the changing weather condition during the final stages of the wargames Saturday, “all flights by the jet fighters, jet bombers, heavy and semi-heavy cargo planes, tactical sea patrol and reconnaissance missions were conducted on schedule.”

“All the missions for targeting and destroying moving objects in the air and the ground targets on islands in the southern parts of the Persian Gulf and the general combat zone were accomplished successfully,” he added.

The strategic Sukhoi-24 (SU-24) fighter-bombers, carrying optimised high-precision missiles built by Iranian experts, as well as the F-5, Mirage and Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) fighter jets participated in the operation.

An important feature of the drill was the deployment and test-firing of Qader and Nasr air-based missiles that have recently been supplied to the air force.

Iran’s fighter jets “successfully” test-fired 200- km range Qader missiles during the ongoing drill in the Persian Gulf region.

“These missiles, which can be mounted on different fighter jets, were successfully test-fired in these wargames,” Chitforoush said, adding that Qader air-based missile, with a range of over 200 km, can be used by the Iranian air force in future battles.

Nasr missiles, which can destroy vessels of up to 3,000 tonnes, can be launched from inland bases, offshore military vessels as well as helicopters.