Iran stands today as a formidable drone power despite the strictures of a UN arms embargo. Iran has invested heavily in domestic drone manufacturing and benefitted from accessible technological advances in the commercial drone market. This has enabled the country to acquire an arsenal of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems which have wreaked havoc around the Middle East.
Iran has used drones to harass the US naval presence around the Persian Gulf, augment its influence in Syria and Iraq, and attack or threaten the critical infrastructure of US allies in the region.
Iran’s conventional air power has been rendered virtually obsolete due to financial impacts and procurement issues caused by sanctions. Investing in UAV technologies and production is therefore a strategic priority for regime leaders, giving Tehran an alternate means for long-range airstrikes.
Drones are particularly advantageous as they are cheaper to build and maintain than manned combat aircraft and can have longer flight endurance, greater maneuverability, and lower observability.
The dangers posed by Iran’s UAV program are amplified by Tehran sharing its advancements with its regional proxies, effectively gifting them with an instant air force. Iran-backed terrorist militias like Hezbollah and the Houthis boast the most active and sophisticated UAV programs among non-state actors, thanks to Iran’s success in smuggling drones and components to them as well as training them on their manufacture and operation.
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Source » cybershafarat