Iran Air Force starts large-scale drills

According to local media, The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) began drills Monday, enlisting as many as seven airbases and dozens of manned and unmanned aircraft. The air force spent the first day rushing the aircraft to the central Iranian Province of Isfahan’s Shahid Babaei Airbase, around which the maneuvers center.

The event’s spokesman Second Brigadier General Farhad Goudarzi said the first part of the main phase of the drills started on Monday, with indigenous Saeqeh (Lightning) fighter planes and aging F-5 fighters destroying mock targets with domestically-manufactured rockets.

F-7s also hit designated targets, using domestically-produced rockets as well as smart, precision, and stand-off weapons, he said. 

According to the spokesman, F-14 fighters were also refueled mid-air by Boeing-707 tankers.

The IRIAF, meanwhile, engaged in electronic warfare, testing advanced communication systems.

This is the second drill Iran has held since a decade-long U.N. arms embargo on Iran that barred it from purchasing foreign weapons like tanks and fighter jets expired earlier on October 8. Amid tensions with the United States and its allies in the past three years, Iran has held numerous military drills.

Iran reportedly is interested in purchasing new aircrafts, as it still flies U.S. F-14 Tomcats alongside F-4s and F-5s dating back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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