Iranian Army forces have held the second day of large-scale naval exercises with drone and cruise missile strikes in the country’s southern waters.
The Army’s coastline missile sites fired the Qader anti-ship cruise missile, successfully destroying a mock enemy vessel more than 200 kilometers from the coast on Friday.
The Nasr anti-ship cruise missile was also fired from Iran’s Najm missile boat, destroying its designated target in the country’s southern waters.
The Kaman-12 drone, which is the Iranian Army’s first combat drone, also conducted surveillance operations within the perimeter of the maneuvers.
The three-day exercises, dubbed Zolfaqar-99, kicked off on Thursday under the command of the Army’s Zolfaqar base, with observers from the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base in attendance.
The drills cover an area of two million square kilometers in the eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz near the Persian Gulf, Makran coast, the Sea of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean up to 10 degrees north.
Speaking on Friday, spokesman for the drills Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said that the Army was simulating various and complex real war scenarios, “many of which cannot be made public due to reservations”.
Addressing the use of cruise missiles during the Friday drills, Irani said the force’s cruise missiles have been designed to deliver a large explosive impact and conduct operations in electronic warfare environments.
“The Iranian Army’s navy, disposing various naval cruise missiles capable of attaining different ranges, has the capability to direct effective missile fire from its coastal, marine and submarine units,” he added.
Speaking on the eve of the drills, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said the exercises were designed to bolster the country’s combat preparedness and enhance the safety of regional shipping routes.
“The enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran will have to know that in case of any strategic mistake on their behalf, Iran’s response will not be limited to the West Asia region and they will face a wide theater of combat,” he said.
During the first day of drills on Thursday, Iranian Army units exercised amphibious offensive maneuvers accompanied by precision airstrikes, among other exercises.
Prior to the drills, American and all other extra-regional military aircraft were warned to avoid the exercise zone, resulting in noticeable change in behavior of American UAVs operating in the area.