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Iran kicks off major aerial drill over Persian Gulf

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Air Force (IRIAF) has launched massive military exercises over the Persian Gulf waters in the south of the country.

The drill which kicked off on Friday involves units from all IRIAF bases, and is the main phase of large-scale maneuvers codenamed Fada’eeyan-e Harim-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of Velayat Sanctuary 4), said the spokesman for the drill.

Hossein Chitforoushan added that dozens of interceptor fighters, bomber fighters, heavy and semi-heavy transport aircraft, reconnaissance airplanes, maritime patrol aircraft and drones are taking part in the two-day drill.

The latest military achievements of the IRIAF will undergo operational tests during the exercises, he said. The drill features long-range operations by fighter jets without aerial refueling as well as pinpoint targeting using bombs and rockets in air-to-surface and air-to-air operations, the spokesman further said.

The military exercise also involves air-to-air shooting, targeting flying objects and air-to-surface bombardments using different types of home-made missiles and bombs.

Deputy IRIAF Commander Brigadier General Alireza Barkhor told reporters Thursday that the maneuvers are part of annual exercises aimed at testing indigenous air defense systems, improving the units’ combat readiness and displaying the country’s military might and achievements.

He also said that the drill seeks to send a message of peace, friendship and security to regional countries. In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

The Islamic Republic has conducted several military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment. Iran says its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.