At an exhibition in Tehran on Saturday, the Islamic Republic of Iran unveiled its newest home-made combat drone dubbed “Karrar”. The drone was on display for the first time at the Defense Industries Exhibition during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit.
Fars News Agency reported that the Karrar has the capability of carrying a military payload of 500 kilograms which can be used to carry out bombing missions. The drone is also believed to have the capability to fly long distances at extremely high speeds with a flying range of 1,000 kilometers and a top speed of 900 kilometers per hour.
The Karrar is the latest advancement in Iran’s pledge to strengthen its aerospace industry. In September 2012, the Iranian government began to implement unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) as part of a larger air defense strategy.
In December 2013, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, announced that Iran had successfully mounted bombs and guided missiles on its drones.
Jafari told reporters: “We have recently acquired the capability to mount guided and precision-targeting missiles with pinpointing capabilities and bombs on drones, which is actually among branches of advanced hi-tech in this field.”
Jafari’s announcement came on the heels of Iran’s unveiling last November of a new drone, “Fotros”, which has a flying time of 30 hours. Fotros was designed and built by the Iranian Airplane Manufacturing Industries Company for the Defense Ministry’s Aviation Industries.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said about Fotros that “This strategic drone has an operational range of 2,000 kilometers, and can fly to a ceiling of 25,000 feet in altitude for 16 to 30 hours, and these specification enable it to conduct combat mission in addition to surveillance and reconnaissance missions.”
The minister confirmed that Fotros can be armed with numerous “air-to-surface missiles and rockets.”
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. One of the main topics of discussion will be Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu, who has vocally stated his disagreement with the current nuclear arms agreement between Iran and the P5+1, is expected to urge Obama to use a more forceful approach when it comes to Iranian nuclear capabilities.