Iranian Fighter Jets Hit Air, Ground Targets in Massive Wargames

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Fighter jets of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) could successfully annihilate both fixed and mobile targets in the air and on the ground during the main phase of combat exercises in the country’s southern regions on Saturday.

جنگنده ارتش و سپاه در رزمایش

The strategic Sukhoi Su-24 fighter-bombers along with F-4 Phantom combat planes of the IRIAF accomplished all the tasks they were set to do during the second day of the main phase of large-scale wargames, codenamed Fadaeeyan-e Harim-e Velayat 4 (Devotees of Velayat Airspace 4), on Saturday morning, spokesman for the air maneuvers, General Hossein Chitforoush, said on December 21.

The IRIAF launched the main phase of the massive aerial drills, which involves combat exercises, in the country’s southern regions on Friday.

Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Air Force Brigadier General Alireza Barkhor had announced earlier that the ongoing wargames over the Persian Gulf were the fourth such military drills conducted by the IRIAF.

Units from all IRIAF bases are taking part in the three-phase drills. The maneuvers are part of annual exercises aimed at testing indigenous air defense systems, improving the units’ combat readiness and displaying the country’s military might and achievements, Barkhor said.

As regards the main phase of the wargames, General Chitforoush said on Saturday that the F-5 fighter aircraft, the Mirage and the Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) fighters managed to carry out operations including aerial interception and air-to-ground shooting at predefined targets until midnight Saturday.

“As of this morning, the Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) and the Mirage aircraft hit their aerial targets in long-range distances,” the General said today.

He also noted that the Sukhoi Su-24 fighter-bombers, carrying home-made optimized missiles with pinpoint accuracy, could destroy ground targets and those floating in the sea.

And a few hours ago, the general added, the F-4 interceptor fighter jets fired the upgraded Maverick missiles, as well as smart rockets with pinpoint accuracy, at the naval targets successfully.

Chitforoush has stated earlier that the latest drills feature long-range flights by fighter jets without aerial refueling as well as pinpoint targeting using bombs and rockets in air-to-surface and air-to-air operations.

“Air-to-air shooting operations, shooting at aerial targets of different speeds at diverse altitudes, air-to-ground shooting and bombardment with various kinds of home-made rockets and bombs are among the other major parts of these drills that would be conducted in a large area,” the spokesman said on Friday.

The third edition of these drills was held in Iran's northwestern regions in September 2012.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Alireza Barkhor has said that the country’s Air Force is ready to hold joint air drills with Middle Eastern countries, adding that the ongoing exercises carry a message of peace, friendship and security for all regional countries.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, within the framework of the (Islamic) establishment’s policies, is prepared to stage joint maneuvers with regional states,”  Barkhor said in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Friday.

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