TEHRAN (Dispatches) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Navy on Wednesday received 188 new naval drones and helicopters, including three unmanned aerial vehicles unveiled for the first time.
In a ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, the IRGC Navy commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said the new drones are capable of taking aerial images of fixed and mobile naval targets in combat operations.
He said all IRGC Navy operations are now carried out with homegrown drones as the new aircraft have joined its fleet.
The three drones unveiled for the first time were identified as Sepehr vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone, Shahab-2, and Hodhod-4 VTOL drone.
The IRGC Navy commander said the three new drones can take off from naval vessels.
Another drone that joined the IRGC Navy’s fleet was Mohajer-6, an all-weather pilotless aircraft with a range of 200 kilometers and designed to carry a payload of four missiles.
Two amphibious and four combat helicopters armed with missiles also joined the IRGC Navy fleet.
At a ceremony marking the event, IRGC chief General Hussein Salami said the power of the IRGC Navy stems from its combination use of drones, helicopters, aircraft and its vessels.
Fars news agency on Wednesday published a video showing an Iranian surveillance drone fly over the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier which last week transited through the Strait of Hormuz.
Fars published images of the Nimitz, saying they were taken by Iranian-made drones, and showing fighter planes parked on the carrier’s deck.
The Nimitz, and several other warships, passed last Friday through the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important chokepoint for oil shipments, the U.S. Navy had said, in what was described as a "scheduled maneuver”.
The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet declined to comment the Iranian report on Wednesday, the Associated Press said.
Over the past decade, the IRGC has occasionally published images on the U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf, where the force has been in charge of protecting Iran’s interests since 2007. In 2019, similar images were published from an IRGC drone that flew over the USS Dwight D Eisenhower and another American warship in the Persian Gulf.
Gen. Salami on Wednesday highlighted Washington’s successive defeats in direct and proxy wars and its growing isolation in the international community.
He said the U.S. used to deal with the challenges through wars in the past, but it is now unable to heal its wounds.
"All world nations are standing against the United States, and so are we. We will grow stronger day by day. The Iranian nation’s patience and presence shines before the eyes of the world, and the world learns lessons of resistance from Iranians,” Gen. Salami added.
American wars, its severe sanctions, psychological warfare, heavy political pressures and plots against Iran have all failed, the general said, adding the U.S. has no more capability or motivation for another war because of its aging hardware and weakened resolve.
The IRGC chief further reaffirmed Iran’s determination to boost its power and extend the range of its weapons.