Iran unveils another new drone as part of growing arsenal – The Jerusalem Post

A Ghadr 1 class Shahab 3 long range missile is prepared for launch during a test from an unknown loc

A Ghadr 1 class Shahab 3 long range missile is prepared for launch during a test from an unknown location in central Iran. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran publicly unveiled yet another new drone on Sunday, part of its growing arsenal of locally produced drones and munitions. Iran has been on a surge recently in terms of showing off new military technology. It showed off a new missile defense system on August 22 and a new radar on August 10.

The new drone is called Kian and is supposed to be able to carry out precision strikes against “distant targets.” In an apparent threat to Israel or other countries, Iran’s Army Air Defense Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahi-Fardand said that it was capable of hitting targets “far from Iran’s borders.”

Oddly the drone announcement was made in English, but in Farsi media the news downplayed its importance. This likely means that ISNA and PressTV were given orders to push this information to make western audiences aware of it.

Iran also showed off another drone called Mobin in Russia on August 27. This drone can supposedly fly up to 45,000 feet high for 45 minutes. It has a warhead of 120kg. That’s a lot, but it’s not clear how far it can go. Iran also showed off new “smart bombs” on August 6. According to reports these were dubbed the Yasin and Balaban and a new series of Qaem “optic bombs.” These can be used on drones and have “advanced, precision guided” equipment. In January Iran also showed off another UAV called Saegheh-2, the drone looks like a medium-range reconnaissance drone modeled on the US RQ-170.

As if that wasn’t enough drones, Iran also showed off the Mohajer 6, another drone capable of conducting surveillance missions in June 2019. Tehran seems to have a surfeit of all this new military technology. It also seems to have a huge spectrum of drones and it isn’t clear if all of them work well. In addition to those mentioned above, it also has the Kaman-12 which can supposedly fly for ten hours and has a payload of 100kg. The Shahed-129 can use bombs and missiles. There is also the Akhgar missile which Iran built to equip its drones. The 1.7 meter missile has a range of 30km, according to reports.

It is hard not to conclude that Iran is rolling out these weapons to show off and also to send a message to Washington and US allies. It wants to show that despite US sanctions, the country is rapidly stockpiling advanced weapons systems. Iran has an impressive indigenous defense industry. It has showed off precision missiles and used them in Syria and Iraq and it has used drones as well. It has transferred this technology to allies, including Houthi rebels, Hezbollah and Shi’ite militias. It is no surprise that Iran boasts of “precision” in all of its new ordinances, at a time when Israel has accused Hezbollah and the IRGC of working on precision rocket conversion programs. This is the real Tehran message: We have precision weapons and we are building more and more of them in different shapes and sizes with different ranges and missions. Iran now has what appears to be a sophisticated multi-layered drone force, as well as new air defense and precision missiles. It has never tested this in a real war scenario, but it has gained knowledge from seeing how the Houthis have conducted attacks on Saudi Arabia. Its limited use of drones in Iraq or Syria, and precision missile strikes have shown that its capabilities are expanding and are not just show, even if some of the drones it has demonstrated appear to be less than advertised.

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