Thursday, 8 September 2011

Iran launches major air combat drills

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) has commenced the first phase of massive 10-day aerial combat maneuvers in the country's northwest.

The four-phased 'offensive' aerial drills began on Tuesday, during which Iranian fighter jets along with military transporters from eight different areas were dispatched to a northwestern military airbase in the city of Tabriz, said IRIAF Deputy Commander for Operations General Mohammad Alavi, quoted by IRIB on Tuesday. 

The extensive aerial military exercises have been designed to simulate a real war zone for the pilots as opposed to previous aerial competitions, General Alavi noted. 

The senior commander further pointed out that the IRIAF will display the country's military prowess and home-made precision missiles in the drills. 

Iranian military officials have described the exercises as unprecedented since they will 'showcase hundreds of fighter sorties and tactical missions.' 

General Alavi referred to the extensive trainings that Iranian pilots have received in Iran to conduct such large scale maneuvers and noted that night raid sorties and low-altitude flights are among the tactics to be applied during the drills. 

He also said that the IRIAF squadrons will test-fire a wide range of new missiles and bombs during the latest exercises. 

The Iranian commander underscored Iran's defense doctrine and said the drills have a message of peace for the neighboring countries and serve to protect Iran's integrity. 

He expressed IRIAF's complete readiness to thwart any aggression or surprise attack on the country.