IranMiddle East

IRGC’s missiles destroy mock enemy warships 1,800 kilometers away during drills

Iran’s home-grown and long-range missiles have destroyed mock enemy warships with pin-point accuracy, hundreds of kilometers away, in the northern Indian Ocean as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) conducts massive military drills.

During the second and last stage of the drills, codenamed the Great Prophet 15, the IRGC’s missiles detected and destroyed the targets as they were sailing 1,800 kilometers away in a remote area in the ocean.

The mock attacks were carried out on Saturday morning with the presence of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, IRGC Chief-Commander Major General Hossein Salami, IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh and a number of other high-ranking Iranian commanders.

‘Ballistic missiles to be used against warships’

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Great Prophet 15 military exercise on Saturday, Major General Salami said destruction of hostile aircraft carriers and warships with long-range ballistic missiles is among Iran’s main defense strategies.

“One of our main purposes in defense policies and strategies is to be able to hit the enemy’s warships, including aircraft carriers and battle cruisers, with long-range ballistic missiles,” Salami said.

“While it is customary to destroy mobile naval targets with low-speed cruise missiles, Iran can launch ballistic missiles from inland territories to hit targets in the ocean,” the IRGC chief said, praising the tactic as a great defense achievement of the IRGC Aerospace Force.

Major General Salami also highlighted that the IRGC units exercised subtle defense tactics during the military drills to evaluate their capabilities in action and be prepared for real-life conditions if need be.

‘Iran to respond to hostile action with strong attack, maximum power’

Top military commander, Major General Baqeri, described the launch of ballistic missiles to destroy the hypothetical enemy’s warships from a distance of 1,800 kilometers as “meaningful”, warning enemies against threats to Iran’s national interests.

“Choosing a barrage of long-range missiles against naval targets illustrates that if the enemies of the Islamic Republic have ill intentions against our national interests, maritime trade routes, and territory, they will come under missile strike and will be destroyed,” he stated.

Major General Baqeri further noted that the Great Prophet 15 drills and other major exercises, which have been held over the past 15 days and will continue for the next five days, indicate the Iranian Armed Force’s preparedness in all military spheres.

Iran is not seeking to launch any offence, he said, but emphasized that any hostile action against Iran will be met with a strong attack “with maximum power and in the shortest possible time.”

On Friday, during the first stage of the large-scale military exercise in the central desert of Iran, the IRGC units launched a barrage of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, which were followed by operations by offensive bomber drones.

A mixed attack, involving a new generation of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and drones, was carried out and all designated targets were destroyed with pinpoint accuracy.

Ballistic missiles of Zulfaghar, Zelzal and Dezful classes were also fired at targets during Friday drills.

The missiles are reportedly equipped with detachable warheads and capable of being controlled outside the atmosphere.

Major 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.

The IRGC military exercise follows Iranian Navy’s drills, codenamed Eqtedar-e Daryayi (Naval Strength) 99, which were held on Wednesday and Thursday in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

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.

On December 10, two B-52 long-range bombers took off at short notice from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana for the non-stop, 36-hour mission to cross Europe and then the Arabian Peninsula to the Persian Gulf, according to US defense officials.

The US Navy had earlier announced the arrival of a nuclear-powered submarine in the Persian Gulf. The USS Georgia passed the Strait of Hormuz accompanied by two American warships, making it the first missile-loaded submarine of its kind to enter the region in eight years.

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