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Iran puts latest air defense gear to test in massive drill


Iran’s armed forces have launched an annual air defense drill to test their capabilities in defending the Islamic Republic’s airspace against a wide range of threats, using an array of advanced weapons systems.

Dubbed ‘Defenders of Velayat Skies 2018′, the two-day drills kicked off on Monday and will feature joint operations by the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Aerospace Force and the Iranian Air Force, which is the aviation branch of Iran’s Army.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the deputy commander of the Iranian Army for coordination who also presides over the drills’ board of commanders, told a media briefing that the military exercises will cover an area of around 500,000 square kilometers in the country’s northern, western, eastern and central regions.

Sayyari said all of the air defense systems and equipment used in the exercises were designed and developed by Iranian experts.

“All of our weapons, training and coordination fit the nature of the threats that we face because we know these threats very well and build our strategies around them” and then test those strategies by simulating various scenarios in military drills of this kind, he said.

The first phase of the drills will see armed forces take positions and rapidly spread around the country, an area where “we have made great strides in” and reached such levels of readiness “that we never thought we would in the past,” the admiral said.

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