A senior Iranian official says the country is working to increase the flight range of its domestically-made drones.
Iran’s Aviation Industry Organization is manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a longer flight range than previous models, said the organization's deputy director Karim Bani Tarafi in an interview with IRNA on Saturday.
The new drones will also be able to fly at higher speed and altitudes and capture more accurate images, he added.
All UAVs currently used by Iran’s Armed Forces have been completely designed and manufactured by local experts, he noted.
Bani Tarafi said different types of equipment, including radars, could be installed on the new drones.
In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems, including a variety of domestically-manufactured drones.
The Islamic Republic unveiled its first domestically-developed long-range combat drone, Karrar (Striker), in August 2010. The country has, ever since, manufactured a whole range of other high-tech surveillance and combat UAVs.
In November 2014, Iran put into operation a final domestically-manufactured version of the sophisticated US RQ-170 stealth aircraft, which was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Armed Forces’ electronic warfare unit in December, 2011 while flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the Afghan border.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Aerospace Force in August 2014 intercepted and shot down an Israeli stealth spy drone that intended to reach the nuclear facility in Natanz. The UAV was targeted by a surface-to-air missile before it reached the area.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other countries since its defense doctrine is based entirely on deterrence.