In a significant display of military prowess, Iran unveiled advanced Karrar combat drones equipped with air-to-air missiles, bolstering its air defense capabilities. Dozens of these drones, boasting an impressive operational range of 1,000 kilometers, will be deployed along the nation’s borders.
This unveiling, which took place at a televised ceremony at the Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defence Academy in Tehran, comes hot on the heels of the recent showcasing of the Fattah-2 ballistic missile. This advanced missile features a hypersonic glide vehicle and a sophisticated warhead.
“The enemies will need to reconsider their strategies,” declared General Abdolrahim Mousavi, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s army, during the ceremony. “The Iranian forces have become significantly more powerful, and our experience has proven that this strength creates despair amongst our enemies.”
The Karrar drone, initially unveiled in 2010, has been upgraded to include the domestically-developed ‘Majid’ thermal missile, boasting an eight-kilometer range. General Mousavi emphasized the success of its operational tests conducted during recent military exercises.
“The Iranian Army prioritizes self-sufficiency in meeting its defence needs,” stated Mousavi. “We achieve this through collaborations with scientists, the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, and knowledge-based entities, ensuring comprehensive defence capabilities across all borders.”
Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defence Force, hailed the Karrar drone as “a testament to the remarkable achievements of our nation’s youth.” He further acknowledged the year-long research and scientific efforts invested in its development.
The development of Iran’s military arsenal, ongoing since the 1980s and fueled by the eight-year war with Iraq, has raised concerns, particularly among the United States and Israel. These concerns are further amplified by Iran’s support for allies in the Middle East, including alleged drone supplies to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi rebels in Yemen. Western nations have responded with multiple rounds of sanctions on Iran over these alleged activities.
However, Iran denies providing drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war, despite persistent accusations from Western governments. The recent unveiling of the Karrar drone and the Fattah-2 missile serves as a clear message of Iran’s growing military capabilities and its commitment to self-reliance in arms development.