Iran on Saturday displayed what it claimed was a homemade combat drone.
The drone, code-named “Karrar,” is capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload and bombing targets on the ground, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The Karrar has a range of 1,000 kilometers and a top speed of 900 kilometers per hour, the report said.
In November 2013, Iran unveiled a new aircraft that it said was the biggest drone yet to be developed in the Islamic Republic, capable of staying aloft for up to 30 hours.
Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said the reconnaissance and combat drone Fotros has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles). That would cover much of the Middle East including Israel.
“This drone is able to carry out reconnaissance missions and carry air-to-surface rockets for combat operations,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Dehghan as saying.
Dehghan said scientists at Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industries, affiliated to Iran’s Defense Ministry, have designed and developed the drone. He said the country has achieved self-sufficiency in building drones but didn’t elaborate.
Iran has pursued a military self-sufficiency program since 1980s, and frequently announces technological breakthroughs including the building of jet fighters, tanks, missile, submarines, torpedoes and drones. Most cannot be independently confirmed.
The country says it is fighting an intelligence battle with the US and Israel, which accuse Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies the charges, saying its nuclear program is peaceful and geared toward generating electricity and producing radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.