Iran Starts ‘Mass Producing’ Drones Strapped with Smart Bombs

Iranian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that it has started mass production of Mohajer-6 advanced drone capable of carrying precision-guided projectiles, a new weaponized drone that carries smart bombs capable of precision strikes, according to the Islamic Republic’s military leaders, Payvand reports. A smart bomb, also known a guided bomb is a precision-guided munition designed to achieve a ‎smaller Circular error probable (CEP).‎

Iran, which has engaged in a massive military buildup since receiving billions of dollars in cash windfalls as a result of the landmark nuclear deal, says that these advanced new drones will be delivered to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC, which has been coordinating war efforts across the Middle East, including most controversially in Syria, where Iranian-backed forces have attacked U.S. troops.

In a ceremony on Monday in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution and in the presence of Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami, the Defense Ministry inaugurated the mass production of Mohajer 6 UCAV and Qaem smart guided bomb.

In the ceremony, Brigadier General Hatami detailed the features of the drone saying “it has the capability to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions, a wide operational range and wingspan with a high precision.”

“The new drones, dubbed the Mohajer 6, are equipped with the smart Qa’em precision-striking bombs and different electro-optical explorers and different warheads, [and] can trace, intercept and destroy the target,” Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Monday during a speech celebrating the new weaponry.

Mohajer-6 is the first UAV of the Mohajer family that is armed with a guided weapon system and is bigger than the other types of Mohajer family. The Iranian Mohajer-4 UAV has been successfully used during conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and allegedly in Lebanon.

IRGC leaders also were present at the unveiling, according to Iran’s state-controlled media apparatus.

Iranian military leaders claim the new drones “can destroy different fixed and mobile targets in day and [during night] missions and can infiltrate various types of installations and facilities.” Iran also will use the weaponized drones to conduct reconnaissance missions and other patrols in far off areas, according to the reports.

Hatami did not specify how far the drones can fly. In September 2017 Israel shot down what was believed to be an Iranian-manufactured drone operated by the Hezbollah terror group as it flew into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights. The UAV was hit with a Patriot missile. In 2015, Press TV quoted IRGC second-in-command Brigadier General Hossein Salami as saying the country had developed UAVs that can fly 3,000 kilometers, a distance that would put Israel in range.

In relevant remarks in 2014, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh underlined the country’s capabilities in building different types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and said the range of Iran-made drones has increased to 3,000km. Hajizadeh referred to the country’s first drone, Mohajer, and said, “Mohajer could fly 3,000km since the beginning.”

“But today, the operational range of all the different types of (home-made) drones used for different missions has also increased to 3,000km which is means a major step in the self-sufficiency of our defense industries.”

The Islamic Republic has so far unveiled various domestically produced drones, including Ababil, Fotros, Hazem, Karrar (long range attack drone), Mohajer, Sarir, Shahed 129, Yasir and Zohal.

Meanwhile, Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said on Monday night that Iran possesses unique ballistic missiles that target navigation and international shipping, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

Colonel Turki al-Malki, the Arab Coalition’s spokesperson, said earlier on Monday that Iran has supplied Houthi militias with weapons to target the international shipping route in Bab al-Mandeb strait.

“I boldly assert that we have ballistic missiles with high technical capabilities that neither the Russians nor the Americans possess. These missiles’ speed is eight times more than the speed of sound, and they exit the atmosphere and return to earth to completely strike their target,” Salami said during a meeting to coordinate the 40th anniversary of the revolution.