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Iran's 'Gaza' drone stuns intl. market as defense industry making strides: US media

Iran's Gaza combat drone

Iran has significantly rolled out its defense products in international market, with an American newspaper saying that the country's defense industry is “going mainstream” at an international arms fair in Qatar with the new flagship advanced product called Gaza drone.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that a model of the Gaza combat drone was exhibited at the Doha fair — the first display of the unmanned aerial vehicle outside Iran.

With a range of 1,243 miles, a 68-foot wingspan, and a satellite link, the Gaza drone can carry 13 precision-guided bombs, the report said, adding that the unmanned aircraft represents “a stepped-up threat to US interests and allies. “

It described the Iranian drone as a rival for the US-made General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper.

“But in Doha, there was no doubt that Iran’s defense industry is going mainstream,” according to the report.

At the Iranian display in Doha, glossy brochures introduced a dozen home-made products, including air-defense missiles and space-rocket launchers, and flyers promoted new anti-ship cruise missiles and radar systems.

One leaflet described Iran’s assault rifles as the best suited “for guerrilla warfare in all climate conditions.”

Since the expiration of a 13-year UN arms embargo in October, Iran has increasingly sold its defense products on the international market.

Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Mahdi Farahi said in November that the country sold about $1 billion in weapons from March 2022 to March 2023, three times as much as the previous year.

Representatives from Qatar’s state defense contractor Barzan Holdings took a look at Iranian-manufactured assault rifles.

“I am very impressed by their medium-range missile technologies,” said a senior Qatar Air Force officer at the Iran booth.

The report said that Washington had contacted Qatar, home to the biggest US military base in the region, about Iran’s presence at the show.

Iranian military experts and engineers have in recent years made remarkable breakthroughs in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient.

Iranian officials have underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, which are entirely meant for defense and deterrence, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never open to negotiations.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has on several occasions called for efforts to boost Iran’s defense capabilities.

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