"This is the most sophisticated remotely operated aircraft we've built so far," Tehran proudly announced in the unveiling event of a new drone, capable of carrying bombs and missiles for exceptionally long distances.
Revolutionary Guard Commanded Mohammed Ali Jafari said the drone, named Shahed 129,
is "smart, accurate and useful. It will aid the work of thousands of soldier on the borders and keep the nation safe."
According to a report on the Revolutionary Guard website, the drone can carry up to eight missiles or bomb for a distance of 1,700 km – enough to hit Israel.
"This aircraft is a work of art, only the US has the ability to build weapons of such a technological grade," Jafari was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency FARS. "All the world powers will be awestruck."
Last year, when Iran
first announced its intentions of developing a long-range drone, Jafri noted that the Shahed 129 will be able to fly for 24 hours straight and hit targets using Saadid missiles.
At the same time, another top officer with the Revolutionary Guard, General Hussein Salami, said that soon another drone will be revealed, built based on the American drone which Iran allegedly took down in late 2011.
According to Salami, the still unrevealed drone was reverse engineered: "We decoded all the aircraft's memory and computational systems and soon we'll have good news, not only about the RQ-170 drone and its upgrades, but also regarding other achievements."
In December 2011 Iran announced that its army took down an American
RQ-170 aircraft above eastern Iran. Shortly after, FARS reported that the Iranian response to the US breach of its aerial border "will not be limited to Iran's borders."
It should be noted that the American army has bases and sea vessels in the area.
The unveiling of the new drone followed the Iranian army's annual parade, which occurred several days ago. In the exhibition, 30 ballistic missiles ranging 2,000 km were shown.
However, Iran's President Hassan Rohani, who makes an effort to broadcast a moderate stance, emphasized these are meant for defensive purposes only.
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