Mesbah Al-Hoda Exercises
Meanwhile, Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmayeeli announced that the entire air defense units, including those of IRGC, participated in Mesbah Al-Hoda drills.
“The air defense system is in the frontline of defending the country by utilizing indigenized equipment,” said Gen. Esmayeeli.
The Mesbah Al-Hoda exercises were the first large-scale military drills in recent years that had not been publicly advertised in advance or during the exercises for show-of-force purposes, and today’s announcement by the air force was unusually modest, absent of any hyperbole and no reference to regional and global enemies of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian military seems to have decided not to interfere with the on-going diplomatic initiatives of the government.
Gen. Nasirzadeh also announced that the Iranian air force will conduct joint maneuvers with the country’s other military branches in the coming Persian new year (which starts on 21 March 2014). He did not provide any further details.
Last December, the IRIAF wrapped up its annual wargames over the Persian Gulf, codenamed Fadaeeyan-e Harim-e Vellayat IV. During those drills, the IRIAF successfully test-fired air-lunched cruise missiles (ALCMs) fitted on F-4E Phantom II fighters, the Qader and Nasr cruise missiles. The ALCMs give the military the capability for hitting targets much farther than before.
File Photo: IRIAF F-4E Phantom II (IRNA)