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Iran unveils ‘biggest’ attack drone with ‘2,000 kilometer range’

Iran unveils ‘biggest’ attack drone with ‘2,000 kilometer range’
Iran on Monday revealed a new missile-equipped drone which it is calling its biggest one yet. The unmanned aerial vehicle has a range of some 2,000 kilometers and is capable of launching air-to-surface missile strikes, according to IRNA news agency.

“The Fotros drone has an operational range of 2,000 kilometers and can fly at an altitude of 25,000 feet, with a flight time of 16 to 30 hours,” defense minister Mohammad Dehgan said during the drone’s unveiling ceremony.

Dehgan added that the aircraft had been “successfully” tested and that its development “shows that sanctions imposed by the enemies are not an obstacle to the progress of the defence industry.”

The machine was developed by scientists at Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industries, which is closely affiliated with Iran's Defense Ministry. According to Deghan, it has been tested under international standards in the most specialized centers.

The new drone will be able to undertake reconnaissance missions and launch air-to-surface missile strikes. 

Iran’s drone program has sparked a great deal of concern from the US and its allies in recent years. In September, Tehran unveiled the ‘Shahed 129’ drone, which capacitates eight missiles and has a range of 1,700km. 

The country also publicized its development of ‘Yasseer,’ a reconnaissance drone. The vehicle can fly for eight hours straight and has a range of 200km. Yasseer was thought to have been modeled after the US ‘ScanEagle’ drone - which Iran claims to have seized just over one year ago. 

The plane entered Iranian airspace from eastern Afghanistan, and Iran “reverse-engineered” it in December 2012, according to a state TV report. 

Iran is also thought to be undertaking the production of a new attack drone series called the Rad-85.