Army to Use Suicide Drones
Iran announced… that it had successfully tested suicide combat drones.
OE Watch Commentary: Perhaps no aspect of Iran’s overt military program has seen as much development over the past decade as Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Whereas a decade ago Iran’s UAVs and drones were largely for show, a platform with little if any capability, the Iranian military today boasts widespread use of drones, employed not only by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), but also by the regular army, both regular and IRGC navy, and the regular and IRGC air forces. In a mid-February speech excerpted here, regular army General Abdolrahim Moussavi outlined the army’s growing use of drones, with emphasis on suicide or kamikaze drones. While it is easy to dismiss the idea of a suicide drone as more symbolic than real in an age of cruise missiles and precise Predators, utilizing suicide drones is an asymmetric strategy which both allows Iran to compete on an uneven playing field and poses a risk by allowing operators to pick and choose targets of opportunity over a drone’s multi-hour flight duration. Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan highlighted the utility of suicide drones against enemy helicopters.
While Moussavi emphasized the utility of suicide drones, he elsewhere described these as but one of three categories of drones which the army operates, with surveillance and reconnaissance being the other two. At the same conference Moussavi’s colleague, Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari, told reporters that Iranian authorities had tested three different suicide drone models which they had derived from the Ra’ad [Thunder]-85 class.
Iran’s explosive emphasis on drone development promises to make American operations in both the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden more complicated and can also pose a proliferation concern should Iran export suicide drones to groups like Hezbollah or Bashar al-Assad loyalists in Syria, from where they might pose a threat to neighboring state helicopters. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
Source: “Artesh az Pehpad Entehari Estifadeh Mikonad” (Army to Use Suicide Drones), Islamic Republic News Agency, 17 February 2015.
Iran to Use Suicide Drones
According to a Tuesday report from the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army Brigadier General Abdolrahim Moussavi on the sidelines of a summit held this morning at the Air Force hotel said in response to a question from IRNA’s special defense correspondent…that the army has different types of UAVs including those which are suicide drones, and that an example of the activities of the army’s UAVs could be seen in the joint military exercises held in southeastern parts of country in December. And he said the ground forces, air forces, and naval forces all benefit from UAV units, and the use of drones in the Al-Anbia air defense base is also a goal. The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced in January that it had successfully tested suicide combat drones in the recent Mohammad Rasulallah (peace be upon him) war games held in December in the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Aden.