TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran on Tuesday unveiled new tactical armored vehicles, designed and manufactured by experts at the country’s defense ministry.
The domestically-manufactured military vehicles named Aras-2 were officially delivered to Iran’s armed forces during a ceremony in the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and commander of the Iranian Army’s ground forces Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hatami said the high-speed Aras-2 tactical vehicles enjoy high mobility in rugged terrains and are capable of carrying heavy weaponry on different battlegrounds.
Compared to its older model, Aras-2 is more powerful and has a longer operational range, Hatami said.
Also at the ceremony, a mine-resistant armored personnel carrier named Ra’ad was put on display.
Iran has recently made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite facing sanctions and Western economic pressure.
The Islamic Republic says its military power is solely for defensive purposes and does not pose any threat to other countries.
Iran unveiled on Saturday a locally upgraded radar system with a range of 400 km (250 miles) that could help defend against cruise and ballistic missiles and drones.
The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and United States. Iran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June after it intruded into the Iranian airspace.
Earlier this week, the National Interest magazine published a report examining Iran’s military industry. It said recent Iranian ship interceptions highlight Iran’s military challenge to the West.
Whereas Persian Gulf Cooperation Council states spend lavishly on high-end, off-the-shelf, U.S.-built platforms, decades of sanctions and post-revolutionary strategic decisions to be militarily self-sufficient has led Islamic Republic to focus more on its own indigenous industries, the American bimonthly international affairs magazine said.
According to the publication, there is a persistent tendency within Washington to underestimate Iran. Iran’s entire nuclear program demonstrated the Iranian ability to achieve advanced technological abilities indigenously, it said.
"Simply put, Iranian engineers and scientists are adept at developing cutting edge military technologies.”
"While diplomats continue to focus on Iran’s nuclear program, the next generation of military technology involves hypersonic weaponry, robotics, and autonomous systems,” the publication added.