Iran's Navy has upgraded its force by incorporating a special division tasked with transporting and operating various drones, days after Washington threatened to use force against the Islamic Republic.
The first drone carrier division of Iran's Navy, which is comprised of different surface and subsurface units, was unveiled in a ceremony in the international waters of the Indian Ocean, the Navy announced on Friday.
The division is capable of carrying various combat, surveillance, and suicide drones and has joined the country's southern fleet.
The new naval upgrade comes just days after US President Joe Biden boasted that Washington may use force to counter Iran's nuclear energy program as a “last resort.”
The threat was repeated in another form on Thursday after the United States signed a joint security declaration in which the US pointed to the “unshakeable US commitment to Israel’s security, and especially to the maintenance of its qualitative military edge,” also pledging to continue strengthening the regime’s military capabilities.
In the unveiling ceremony of the new drone division, which was held with high-ranking Iranian commanders in attendance, a number of drones produced by the Army, Defense Ministry, and knowledge-based firms showcased their capabilities. Home-made UAVs such as Pelican, Homa, Arash, Chamroosh, Jubin, Ababil-4, and Bavar-5 performed successfully in the military exercise in the Indian Ocean.
Other than drones that use vertical takeoff systems that were launched from surface vessels, combat drones have been launched from submarines including homegrown Fateh and Tareq submarines.
This makes Iran the only country in the region with the ability to launch UAVs from subsurface units.
The chief commander of Iran’s Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi lauded the successful military exercise, pointing to the necessity of boosting the country's defense in the face of threats. He said considering the "aggressive behavior" of the enemies, "it is necessary to add to our defense power by the day."
Emerging fields such as the field of drones are of great importance and have a decisive role when it comes to strengthening defense power, he added. "Surveillance drones increase the intelligence power of our vessels hundreds of kilometers beyond the borders."
Combat and suicide drones, the commander said, act as the upper hand of the Islamic Republic of Iran in international waters, "both creating deterrence against threats and also, if required, giving enemies a response that will make them regret in case they commit a mistake."
Meanwhile, the Navy’s Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said the upgrade enables the naval force to have operational and air superiority in the depth of oceans while also boosting intelligence hundreds of kilometers away from surface and subsurface units.
The Islamic Republic’s military doctrine holds that the country’s armed capability solely serves defensive purposes and poses no threat to other states.
Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the weaponry sphere.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to boost its military capabilities, including its missile and drone power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiation.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s defense program.