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Iran launches large-scale military drills

Yusef Jalali 
Press TV, Semnan

The Iranian army's air defense kicked off its annual drills dubbed Defenders of Velayat Skies.

Held over a 400,000 square kilometer area in central Iran, the military exercise saw the use of a range of air defense missile systems, UAVs, electronic warfare systems and radars.

This year, the maneuvers focused on protecting the country's strategic sites, where the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz were simulated as the conflict zone.

The drills are expected to use Iranian domestically manufactured air defense equipment.

For the first time, 15th of Khordad missile system has been deployed to the drill site. The air defense system is capable of tracking and destroying air targets flying at medium altitudes.

Talash and Mersad missile systems were also used in the drills and they successfully hit mock enemy drones.

With over four decades of arms embargo imposed against the country by the west, Iran has had no way but to stand on its own feet to build up its military arsenal. Today, Iran says over 80 percent of its defense equipment are indigenous.

Iran's army says with its domestic air defense equipment, Iran's skies are safer than ever. However, army commanders here say Iran will never initiate a war against any country and its military might serves only defensive purposes.



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