In 2nd stage of drill, Iran tests bombers’ prowess

Iran has successfully conducted the second phase of a large aerial maneuver over the Persian Gulf, testing domestically made fighter jets and interceptor aircrafts.

“With regards to long-distance flights of around 3,600 km, we successfully conducted aerial refueling from tanker to fighter jet and from fighter jet to fighter jet,” Air Force pilot Brigadier Hossein Chit-Foroush, spokesman for the maneuver, said on Tuesday.

Iran’s F-4 and F-5 fighter jets and the Iranian-made fighters known as “Saegheh”, meaning “Thunderbolt” in Persian, also took part in the maneuvers.

Air Force commander Brigadier General Hassan Shah-Safi on Monday said fighters would practice hitting targets beyond one thousand kilometers.

“After this exercise, our fighters will be able to bomb targets more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away,” the commander said after arriving at one of the maneuver sites in southern Iran.

The first day of the three-day aerial maneuver, dubbed Milad-Noor-Velayat, was successfully performed on Monday with jets flying in Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf and the adjoining Sea of Oman.

The Iranian maneuver, branded as strictly defensive, will also include electronic warfare tests and wireless audio signal transmission trials.