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Iran showcases UAVs during military parade


In Iran, April 18 is the "Islamic Republic of Iran Army Day". The annual event is a national holiday of Iran, that has been celebrated since 1979. The Iranian government makes a show of military force on Iran Army Day with parades, often demonstrating new defense technologies. While the 2021 edition was more limited than usual due to social distancing and the pandemic, interesting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were showcased during the military parade.

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Iran showcases drones during military parade 01 Kaman-22, showcased during the parade (Picture source: FARS News)


The made in Iran drones that have paraded are:

The Kaman-22, with a new underbelly (that seems to be inspired by US-made Reaper or Global Hawk drones). Kaman 22 s an Iranian wide-body combat and reconnaissance UAV unveiled on the 24th of February, 2021 by the Islamic republic of Iran Air Force. It is said to be the country's first wide-body drone. The range of the Kaman 22 is approximately 3,000 kilometres and it can carry 300 kg of explosives. According to IRIAF commander Aziz Nasirzadeh, the Kaman 22 is the first domestically-manufactured wide-body combat drone in the country capable of carrying all kinds of munition

The Mohajer-6. The Qods Mohajer is an Iranian single-engine tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by the Qods Aviation Industry Company in four main variants from the 1980s to the present day. The Mohajer family is primarily used for reconnaissance, and is among the most mature and well-known Iranian UAVs. The Mohajer is used by both the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). It has been exported to Iranian allies in the Middle East and has been used in the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars.

The suicide drones Ababil. The HESA Ababil is an Iranian single-engine multirole tactical unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA). The Ababil comes in two main lines, the Ababil-2 and the Ababil-3, of which the former has a number of variants. It is considered a long-range, low-technology drone.

Other systems on display included the Damavand long-range anti-aircraft missiles, short-range "Zulfiqar" and "Majid" missiles.The parade did not appear to show off Iran’s larger Shahed line of drones or its Saegheh.

 

Iran has recovered several foreign drones in recent years, including an American RQ-170 in 2011; an RQ-4 and an MQ-9B Reaper in 2019. This explains why the Saegheh looks like the RQ-170; that the "Damavand" is in fact an improved S-200 missile; and that Zulfiqar has striking analogies with MBDA's "Mistral".