Iran’s Ground Forces Expanding Use of Drones

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Apr 13, 2017
Iran’s Ground Forces Expanding Use of Drones

The commander of Iran’s Army Ground Forces has announced an increase in the number and range of drones used during the Ground Forces’ operations across the country. "The Ground Force has set up a drone group and we are trying to become equipped with different tactics and technics, used by the world's advanced drone units," Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday. "We have plans to prepare the drones for night and long-range operations and increase their durability for operations and we are now expanding the drone unit across the country," he added.

Comment: The Iranian military has lately put increased emphasis on enhancing its drone capabilities for offensive and defensive purposes. The Iranian Ground Forces primarily use drones to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions in remote and border regions. "Today, the drones are the discerning eyes and long arms of the Ground Force and they have been able to act successfully in their missions and in wargames,” former Iranian Ground Forces Commander Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan said last September.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) has also developed attack drones for asymmetrical war tactics. In October, the I.R.G.C. unveiled a new attack drone which it claimed was similar to a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle Iran captured in December, 2011. According to the Iranian media, the new drone – called “Saegheh” or lightening – is capable of carrying explosives and hitting four targets with smart precision-guided bombs.

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