(Press TV) -- Iran’s armed forces have launched an annual air defense
drill to test their capabilities in defending the Islamic Republic’s
airspace against a wide range of threats, using an array of advanced
Dubbed the Defenders of Velayat Skies 2018, the
two-day drills kicked off on Monday and will feature joint operations by
the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, the Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps (IRGC)’s Aerospace Force and the Iranian Air Force, which is the
aviation branch of Iran’s Army.
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the
deputy commander of the Iranian Army for coordination who also presides
over the drills' board of commanders, told a media briefing that the
military exercises will cover an area of around 500,000 square
kilometers in the country’s northern, western, eastern and central
Sayyari said all of the air defense systems and equipment used in the exercises were designed and developed by Iranian experts.
of our weapons, training and coordination fit the nature of the threats
that we face because we know these threats very well and build our
strategies around them” and then test those strategies by simulating
various scenarios in military drills of this kind, he said.
phase of the drills will see armed forces take positions and rapidly
spread around the country, an area where "we have made great strides in”
and reached such levels of readiness "that we never thought we would in
the past,” the admiral said.
Detection, identification, interception
and destruction of threats using advanced equipment, including
electronic warfare, were the key objectives of the Velayat drills,
Commenting on the drills’ coincidence with the U.S.
reimposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Sayyari said the
economic pressure is never going to affect Iran’s ability to defend
Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, "our country has been
subjected to the most severe forms of sanctions... and these sanctions
are more prevalent in the military field because the enemy doesn’t want
the Islamic Republic to stay independent and self-reliant as a country,”
Iranian Armed Forces have reached such levels "on
land, in sea and in air,” 40 years after the late Imam Khomeini led the
revolution to victory and urged self-reliance, the admiral added.
said Iran’s advancements in air defense have turned the country's skies
into the safest airspace in the whole world, a point that the
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has also acknowledged.
of the new air defense systems successfully tested on the first day of
Velayat exercises was the Third of Khordad missile system, developed by
the IRGC Aerospace Force.
Armed with advanced Taer missiles that have
a range of 50 kilometers, the system is capable of simultaneously
intercepting four targets and firing eight missiles at them.
air defense weapon unveiled on Monday was the 35mm Seraj anti-aircraft
gun system, which, armed with radar and a new optical target acquirement
system, is intended to act as an effective weapon against a wide range
of targets particularly drones and other small flying objects.