Iran Demonstrated Suicide Drones During Drill

The remains of a cluster bomb is exploded as the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing ordnance disposal team disposes of hazardous ordnance during Operation Desert Storm.

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Amid the escalating tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill on January 15, that included “suicide drones” crash into targets and explode. Also seen were triangle-shaped aircraft. 

The Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert.

The Guard’s decision to use the drones alongside a series of missile drills comes as Iran tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord, which he has said America could re-enter, according to international news agencies.

The footage showed four of the unmanned, triangle-shaped drones flying in a tight formation. Another scene showed the drones smash into targets Iran described as being “hypothetical enemy bases” and detonate. One target appeared to be a missile vehicle — a telling target in a region where American forces and their Gulf Arab allies rely on Patriot missile batteries for defense.

The triangle-shape drone appeared to have two fins on either side. This strongly resembles the so-called “Delta” drones used both in the assault in September 2019, as well as a May 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia’s crucial East-West pipeline. Saudi Arabia showed damaged drones to journalists after the attacks, while U.N. experts included images of the drone in a report.

Iran has long denied launching the attack on the sites of Abqaiq and Khurais while Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels initially claimed the assault. However, the United States, Saudi Arabia and U.N. experts believe the drones were Iranian, likely launched amid an escalating series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.