Iran’s 7,000km range drone is a warning to Israel – analysis

Iran has claimed to unveil a drone with a 7,000km range, according to Tasnim news, as well as other reports, calling it a challenge to the United States. It is also a clear warning to Israel. Even if the drone has not realistically achieved a long range in a real flight, Iran is sending a warning message that it can strike Israel with this weapon. Major General Hossein Salami, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) has said that the new drone has a 7,000 km range. This would mean that it could easily fly from Iran or via Yemen or Syria over Israel and back. Iran recently unveiled a drone called “Gaza” during the recent 11-day war between Hamas and Israel, its name a clear reference to the conflict. It is unclear if the 7,000km range refers to the range of the new ‘Gaza’ drone or another model. IRGC aerospace division commander Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh is one of the key figures behind the drone and missile program.

According to Tasnim news, the “IRGC Commander-in-Chief, who was enumerating the country’s achievements in the field of technology and science, also avoided the field of aerospace, said that today we have wide-body drones that go back and forth 7,000 kilometers and land anywhere they want.” The report noted that the new “Gaza” drone is called the Shahed 149 and is larger than the Shahed 129. In January, reports at Newsweek claimed Iran may have sent a drone to Yemen that could threaten Israel. In May, Iran was behind the launch of a drone from Iraq or Syria into Israeli airspace. Israel shot it down.

According to Salami, the new Shahed 149 can carry 13 bombs. “Until now, the Shahed 171 drone, which was a one-to-one scale [copy] of the American RQ-170 had a range of 4,400 km, and was the longest-range drone in Iran,” Tasnim noted. Iran downed the US RQ-170, a secretive spy drone, back in 2011. It claimed to have reverse engineered it.

Iran’s new 7,000km range drone supposedly can already take off and land, unlike Iran’s kamikaze drones which are preprogrammed to fly and hit a specific target, similar to a cruise missile. Iranian media sources have claimed that, in theory, this new drone could be programmed to fly a long distance and then land somewhere else. “In recent years, the Armed Forces of our country, especially the IRGC Air Force, have made extensive investments in the field of UAVs and have achieved significant achievements in this field. Meanwhile, Iran’s allies in the region have also gained significant defense power by gaining drone power, especially suicide drones; The power, according to US officials, in addition to taking over the airspace from the Americans, has made the fear of suicide drone attacks the biggest operational concern for White House officials in Iraq,” reported Tasnim news.

Iran boasted in the report about how pro-Iran militias have been showing off new drone capabilities in Iraq. “Suicide drone strikes against US positions in Iraq have increased in recent months, and even the [against the] Patriot system radar based at the Ain al-Assad base and the CIA hangar in Erbil have been targeted.”A recent pro-Iran militia parade showed that the militias now have a variety of drones, including a Mohajer-6, an Iranian style drone. The Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen announced new drone attacks on Saudi Arabia on Saturday as well.






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