Iranian Army Acquires Combat Capable Drones With 930-Mile Range-Defence Minister

DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) – The Iranian armed forces have acquired three bomb-carrying drones with a range of 1,500 kilometres (932 miles), Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on state television on Saturday.

The drones could monitor “enemy movements from a considerable distance” and were capable of combat missions, he said at the delivery ceremony in Tehran broadcast on TV.

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”off” captionsrc=”custom” caption=”FILE PHOTO: Iranian versions of the American RQ-170 drone which were used in a military exercise in the Persian Gulf in Iran, involving dozens of drones, are seen on the a runway, in this undated handout photo.REUTERS./” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

The aircraft were equipped with bombs and missiles, and they can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000 feet (13,716 metres), he said, without indicating the name of the new drones.

The drones were manufactured by Iran‘s military industry with the participation of local universities, he said.

Drones are a key element in Iran‘s border surveillance, especially the Gulf waters around the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil supply flows.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have reached the highest levels in decades since the United States killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3, prompting Iran to fire missiles days later at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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