With the arrival of the annual date for the air maneuvers in Iran, a military exercise called "Defenders of the Sky State 99", which is considered one of the largest in Iran and will continue for three days, began yesterday, Wednesday.
These maneuvers are being carried out in cooperation with the air defense forces of the Iranian army and the Revolutionary Guards, on an area estimated to be half the area of the country (Iran's area is equal to one million and 648 thousand square kilometers).
"These maneuvers will be similar to real military operations, and they will be held with the aim of coordinating the air defense of the armed forces, and they will use a variety of local missiles, radars, communication systems, electronic warfare and deal with various types of air threats," said the commander of the air exercises, Brigadier General Qadir Rahimzadeh.
According to the annual calendar of maneuvers in Iran, various land, sea and air maneuvers are held in multiple regions in the country, but what makes this maneuver more distinct from its predecessors is its wide scope, as well as the presence of the Iranian army's air defense forces and the Revolutionary Guards side by side under one command, in addition to The use of fully homemade equipment.
According to the security expert, Dr. Sajjad Abdi: The main focus of this maneuver is on electronic warfare, especially with the previous attempts carried out by the United States and Israel since 2010, after the spread of the "Stuxnet" virus and the "Flame" virus, represented by the actions of Terrorist attacks in Iran, as well as "Operation Cleaver" in the Middle East.
The maneuvers bring together the air defense of the army and the Revolutionary Guard under one command (European)
Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Abdi added, "One of the important goals of this maneuver is also directing and controlling the operations of the armed forces to strengthen coherent air defense against any external threat. In previous years, drones tried to enter Iran and collect private information about nuclear facilities such as the Natanz site (in Isfahan, central Iran) ".
The same spokesman considered that there are factors that enhance the possibility that President Donald Trump's administration would undertake a small-scale operation against Iran to win the elections, including the end of the arms embargo on Iran, and the United States ’declaration that it will not be satisfied with imposing economic sanctions on countries that sign arms deals with Tehran only. It will even prevent the transfer of arms shipments as well, in addition to what was reported in the Israeli press about Washington’s planning to play a dangerous game before the US presidential elections.
Lift the arms embargo
Some believe that in light of the lifting of the arms embargo on Iran and its priority to purchase modern warfare fighters, Iran is looking through these maneuvers to determine its strengths and weaknesses in the airspace, to choose the best air equipment needed to strengthen its air system.
On the other hand, given that all the equipment used in this maneuver is a local industry, this may contribute to creating a new market for exporting Iranian industries by reviewing its military capabilities in the fields of air and missile defense and radars.
Among the local equipment used in these maneuvers: the tactical command and control systems "Fakour" and "Ashura", the local radar systems "Muraqt", "Fateh 2" and "Basheer", as well as the "Mursad", "Tabus" and "15 Khordad" missile systems. And “Som Khordad” that last year destroyed the American RQ-4 Global Hawk, one of the most modern drones in the world.
The maneuvers showcase Iran's capabilities in (European) air defense
Expanded range of exercises
Regarding expanding the scope of maneuvers, political analyst Dr. Hassan Ahmadian believes that "the greater the threats and the variety of their sources, the greater the need to prepare for facing them. Therefore, the expansion of the scope of the exercises indicates the military capacity of the state and the cost of fighting a conflict with it."
"The Americans have always tried to suggest to the world that there is a rift between the political and military spheres in Iran, so this coordination between the different groups (the army and the Revolutionary Guards) in the maneuvers indicates that there is no rift between the forces, but they are in perfect harmony with Each other".
He also described the US action against Iran as unlikely, and said that the American system is not so reckless that President Trump launches a military attack on Iran for the sake of the elections, in light of the fact that there is no threat to US national security, so any move by Trump against Tehran may be his. Gains but it will cost the United States dearly.
Among the other advantages of these maneuvers are the use of a new generation of modern defense systems and equipment for deterrence, and to increase the defense capacity of the Air Force. The military spokesman for the exercises, Abbas Farajpour, indicated that for precautionary reasons, this equipment will be revealed in the near future.
It appears that Iran has managed in recent years - despite the sanctions - to make significant progress in the areas of missiles, radars and electronic warfare.
When a country acquires the technology to produce defense systems capable of vertical launching of missiles and control of propulsion carriers (TVC), it will be considered one of the defensive powers in the world.
This was demonstrated in practice by the landing of the American RQ-170 drone in Iran in December 2011, as well as the downing of the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft in June 2019.