Feb 21, 2024 08:29 UTC
  • IRGC Ground Force takes delivery of sophisticated homegrown kamikaze, combat drones

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force has taken delivery of sophisticated homegrown kamikaze and combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), featuring state-of-the-art technologies suitable for operations against enemy targets.

Shahed 131 (Witness 131) suicide and Ababil-5 combat drones were supplied to the Force during a Tuesday ceremony attended by senior IRGC commanders and other top-brass military figures.

The sophisticated homegrown drones are supposed to bolster the IRGC Ground Force’s surveillance capabilities and help it counter threats posed by anti-Iran terrorist groups.

During the large-scale Great Prophet 15 military exercise in January 2021, the IRGC Aerospace Force released video footage, showcasing successful engagement of various targets by Shahed-131 drone. This marked the first public presentation of the drone's effectiveness in combat scenarios.

Shahed-131 drone further exhibited its operational prowess during the Great Prophet 17 exercise, where it conducted precision strikes on a simulated facility representing the Israeli Dimona nuclear power plant.

Measuring 2.6 meters in length and 2.2 meters in width, the unmanned aerial vehicle distinguishes itself with unique design features. It weighs 135 kilograms and can detonate targets within a radius of 900 kilometers.

Ababil-5 combat drone was first unveiled on April 18, 2022 during the National Army Day.

It is being manufactured by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA). The combat drone shares design elements with its predecessors in the Ababil UAV family, including the Ababil-3 and Mohajer-6 models.

Shorter wings allow Ababil-5 to carry a heavier payload of weapons. The UAV has been furnished with a retractable front landing gear to enhance its surveillance capabilities.

Iranian military experts and engineers have in recent years made remarkable breakthroughs in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the Armed Forces self-sufficient.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities.