A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps says the IRGC has upgraded several of its Sukhoi SU-22 fighter bombers and will soon equip them with cruise missiles.
IRGC’s Aerospace Division Commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh made the announcement in a Wednesday ceremony to unveil 10 overhauled SU-22 fighter jets.
Hajizadeh also said the IRGC will install air-to-ground cruise missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 1,500 kilometers on its fighter jets in the near future.
Despite featuring outstanding flight capabilities like traveling at the speed of Mach 2.1 and flying at 50.000 feet, Hajizadeh said, the Sukhoi SU-22 was not upgraded in certain aspects and thus needed to be overhauled.
Having undergone the upgrade, the bomber will now be capable of carrying and launching smart bombs equipped with pinpoint accuracy, as well as air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles, and will be able to transfer data between drones from distances of several kilometers, the commander added.
Hajizadeh said that the IRGC’s Aerospace Division has developed the capability to manufacture different types of equipment, saying the aircraft that were grounded for some 28 years have now been upgraded and have joined the country’s air transportation system.
IRGC vows response to US oil threats
Meanwhile, IRGC Chief Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’afari reacted to US threats to block Iranian oil exports, saying the Islamic Republic can take effective counter-measures.
“If the current capabilities of the IRGC, which are based on the will of the revolutionary young specialists and part of which was displayed today, … reaches the ears of the adventure-seeking US president, he will never make such a mistake and will come to the understanding that an oil threat can easily be answered.”
In May, US President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling America out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and would re-impose the sanctions that were lifted as part of the deal.
The sanctions would include restrictions over purchases of crude oil from Iran and investing in its oil sector projects.
Trump’s administration has now been pressing other countries to stop buying Iranian oil or face US sanctions.
On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed again that no country can block Iran’s oil exports.
“No one with even a basic understanding of politics will ever say, ‘We will block Iran’s oil exports,’” Rouhani said, reminding America that, “We have many straits; the Strait of Hormuz is but one.”
Also on Wednesday, Rouhani responded to recent Trump’s threats, and said national integrity, unity and resistance provide the most powerful response to the US adversity and inappropriate rhetoric.
Recently, Trump warned Iran of consequences “the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
Rouhani noted that Iran has undertaken legal international efforts to confront the US misdeeds.