Iran unveiled a new home-made programmable drone named ‘Basir’ in a ceremony on the occasion of the Army Day on Saturday.
“Basir is a self-control drone that moves according to the flight plan in the specified routes and land in the same take-off point after ending its mission,” an official of the Northwestern city of Zanjan’s 216 Armored Brigade Mohammad Mohammadi said Saturday.
Noting that the drone’s development and construction lasted four months, he said that the aircraft has been built for gathering samples from areas contaminated with chemical materials and for monitoring and gathering information in areas afflicted with natural disasters.
Yet, he said, the drone can also be armed with different weapons to be used for other missions such as street wars, reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
Iran has taken huge steps in recent years in building drones.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, a senior Iranian commander said that the country is armed with fire-and-forget drones.
Iran’s home-made drone, Ra’d (Thunder) 85, is a fire-and-forget aircraft which can be reprogrammed to destroy specific and changing targets hundreds of miles away with maximum precision, a ground force commander said.
Fire-and-forget is a type of missile guidance system that does not need to be guided after launch by such techniques as marking the target or wired guidance; these systems can hit targets without the launcher being in line-of-sight of the target.
“The Ground Force’s suicide drones destroy the target like a small cruise missile and Ra’d 85 enjoys this capability and destroys targets with a powerful warhead and very high striking precision,” Commander of the Iranian Ground Force’s Vali-e Asr Drone Group Colonel Reza Khaki said in Tehran.
“Ra’d 85 is a fire-and-forget aircraft and is programmed to strike at specified targets; it may also receive (new information for) new targets and new flying routes as it is in the sky and it can also return to the lair if the mission is called off,” he added.
He said Iran is now a major drone power in the region, and added that the Ground Force’s drones will be equipped with missiles and rockets for future drills.
In relevant remarks on Sunday, Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said that the Force had armed its drones with missiles and rockets.
“We are after increasing the range and flight duration of our drones and all Ground Force drones will be armed with missiles and rockets next year,” he said.
Pourdastan said “these weapons have already been mounted on the drones but, the aircraft need to accomplish all their flight tests” before all of them are armed with missiles and rockets.
Senior Iranian military officials announced in March that the country’s armed forces were creating a growing number of drone units, adding that the number of drone flights had grown 800 times more than just a year ago.
“In the structure of the Armed Forces, separate drone missions have been defined for each force; the Air Force has been entrusted with special missions and drone units have been formed in Air Force bases to this end,” commander of the Air Force’s drone units said.
He announced plans to increase the number of home-made drones in the next 5 years, and said the Air Force would also operate long-range drones, specially for very distant missions.
“We are also after increasing the flight duration of drones and their armaments and electronic war systems for possible asymmetric wars,” the commander said.
Noting that the Air Force had made major progress in training drone operators and preparing drone bases, he said the flights of the Iranian drones had become 800-folded this year compared with the pervious year.
Iran is one of the five manufactures of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the world, western media reports said in February.
Iran, the US, China, Russia and Israel are the main manufacturers of drones across the globe, the National Interest reported.