Hezbollah has some 2,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, many of them advanced UAVs from Iran and others manufactured independently by the Lebanese terrorist group, a new report by the ALMA Research Center has found.
Hezbollah has been using UAVs since the 1990s and has used its drones in Syria as well as against Israel. Even before the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the group launched drones into Israel; and during the war, Hezbollah launched several armed drones into the country.
The report by ALMA listed several attempts by Hezbollah to fly its drones into Israel, including in October 2012 when a UAV launched over the Mediterranean Sea reached the Negev before it was intercepted by Israel Air Force jets.
The group was said to have 200 Iranian-made UAVs in 2013; and with help from the Islamic Republic, it has since significantly increased its fleet, which is set to be used for kamikaze attacks on strategic national assets in Israel as well as reconnaissance against IDF troops and bases.
According to the report, Hezbollah “most likely” has advanced UAV models such as the Mohajer, Shahed, and Samed (KAS-04), Karrar and Saegheh types. It also possesses dozens of smaller civilian drones made by China that are used to photograph as well as to carry and drop bombs.
Iran has been building its “UAV Army” since 1984, and the fleet not only has a significant range of over 2,000 kilometers but it has “very advanced development and operational capabilities,” the report said.
“Iran realized that it could not provide a military response throughout the Middle East in general and against Israel in particular, facing an air force operating warplanes. Therefore, it sought to develop two alternatives in recent decades: the first, a precision surface-to-surface missile system, and the second, a ‘UAV Army.’”
Though Iran has thousands of drones, the report highlighted nine types of UAVs and 48 models, including those that are operational and others that are still in trial phases. The report also discussed UAV models used by Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Source » iranbriefing