TEHRAN (Dispatches) – The Iranian army on Thursday will launch a large-scale military exercise in the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean using a combination of new weapons and equipment.
Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the commander of the drill codenamed Zolfaqar-99, said the exercises will continue for three days.
It will include forces from the ground force, navy, air force, and air defense, and cover an area of 2 million square kilometers in the Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, the Sea of Oman, and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, down to the 10-degrees latitude.
Sayyari said a broad range of vessels, submarines, aircraft and new weapons will participate in the drill, including homegrown Fateh submarine.
The army forces will practice offense and defense tactics, the commander said, adding a long-range drone called Simorgh will carry out patrol and reconnaissance operations and engage in combat against hostile vessels by dropping smart bombs with pinpoint accuracy.
He said the purpose of the exercise is to ensure the security of the regional waters and international shipping routes.
"Security in West Asia and its vital and strategic waterways requires indigenization of security with constructive cooperation from all regional countries and prevention of foreign presence in regional waters.”
The war game is also aimed at enhancing Iran’s military preparedness to counter transregional threats and exercise plans for a crushing response to any act of aggression, the commander said.
He also warned the enemies that any strategic mistake would make Iran define a theater for reaction that would not be confined to West Asia.
A senior military commander said Iran has gained such great defense power that the enemies had better avoid testing the capabilities of the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
In remarks at a meeting of top commanders, held on Wednesday ahead of the drill, commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbia Headquarters Major General