IranMiddle East

Iran’s IRGC kicks off missile, drone exercises in massive military drills

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has kicked off massive military drills in central Iran, in which it tests its latest ballistic missiles and combat drones.

The first round of the drills, codenamed the Great Prophet 15, was held with mass launches of ballistic ground-to-ground missiles and operations by combat bomber drones.

In this round, which was attended by IRGC Chief-Commander Major General Hossein Salami and IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, a new generation of ballistic missiles and drones launched a mixed attack and destroyed all their targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Missiles of Zulfaqar, Zelzal, and Dezful classes were fired at the targets during the Friday drills.

The missiles were equipped with detachable and guided warheads, capable of disrupting and infiltrating into the enemy’s missile defense shield.

General Salami said the missiles and drones showcased in the drills indicate the Iranian nation’s strong resolve to defend their vital interests.

“The message of these drills is our power and strong determination to defend the Establishment and our values against the enemies of Islam and Iran,” he added.

General Hajizadeh also noted that new capabilities were tested in the Friday drills for the first time.

“The combination of these new capabilities with drone operations and use of artificial intelligence technology and achievements have created a new power and ability [for the IRGC],” he noted.

The IRGC military exercises started shortly after the Iranian Navy finished its naval drills in the country’s strategic southern waters.

The massive naval drills were held in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf in order to elevate the preparedness and military prowess of Iran’s Armed Forces.

The two-day naval drills, codenamed Eqtedar-e Daryayi (Naval Strength) 99, started during a formal ceremony in a vast area spanning the Makran coastal strip on the Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean on Wednesday.

The event was attended by Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri and Chief Commander of the Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, and other senior commanders.

The Iranian Navy took delivery of Makran helicopter carrier, a logistics ship designed to support the Navy’s missions in farther waters, such as the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the Red Sea.

The naval drills come amid America’s stepped-up military threats against Iran in the final days of US President Donald Trump in office.

Late last month, two American B-52 bombers flew over the Middle East. They deployed from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and were escorted by US F-16s, according to US Central Command.

It marked Washington’s third deployment of nuclear-capable B-52s to the region within 45 days.

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