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IRGC Displays Newly-Designed Model of Longest-Range Drone in Thursday Rallies

11 February 2016 19:09



The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) showed the newly-designed model of its longest-range drone, Shahed (Eye Witness) 129, during the annual February 11 rallies on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The new model whose features haven’t been revealed yet to the public is different from its predecessors, at least, in appearance. Yet, it could be said that the aircraft’s nose has gone under some changes.

The Shahed 129, which was unveiled in September 2012, is capable of carrying out eight combat and reconnaissance missions for 24 hours and has a flying range of 2,000 km.

The IRGC announced earlier this month that its Shahed 129 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is providing combat support to the resistance front in the war on terrorism in Syria.

The drone also enjoys an effective operational radius of 1,700 km, datalink range of 200km, flight endurance of 24 hours, and a flight ceiling of 24,000 feet.

The IRGC launched mass-production of the indigenously developed drone in September 2012. The drone was displayed recently in an armed configuration, carrying four guided missiles loaded on two twin-launchers, carried underwing. The State TV said the drone can carry up to eight weapons, designed to hit stationary and mobile targets alike.

Shahed 129 is a powerful platform with significant more payload capacity, compared to other similar drones. Its external shape reflects significant advancement in composite materials fabrication, including the production of large airframe and structural elements. Strike missions employing guided weapons also indicate the evolution of compact yet capable sensors and datalinks, enabling the relay of target images and engagement of such targets in real time, over considerable distances.

According to IRGC Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Iran is currently marketing the Shahed 129 UCAV for export to potential international customers.

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