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A massive military drone exercise codenamed “Towards Jerusalem 1” was launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The Iranian military reportedly flew about 50 “offensive and combat” drones on Bani Farur Island in the Persian Gulf. The drill was the first time Iran’s military operated that number of drones simultaneously.
The drones were modeled after a US-made RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone Iran captured in 2011, according to international news agencies.
The drones allegedly took off from bases as far as 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away and successfully bombed a single target at the same time, according to cbn.com.
Iran’s Fars news claimed that the country has “the largest collection of captured or downed American and Israeli drones, including the US MQ1, MQ9, Shadow, ScanEagle, and RQ-170 as well as the Israeli regime’s Hermes.”
Although Tehran claimed that it has created an indigenous and advanced copy of the Sentinel, video from the “Jerusalem” operation showed them being lashed to trucks for the exercise. It wasn’t clear why a drone needs to be launched from a pick-up truck, if it is an “advanced” drone.
The operation was attended by the commander of the IRGC, Hossein Salami, and IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
Hajizadeh pointed to drones that look like the US Predator MQ-1 as evidence that Iran has achieved results. The Shahed 129, first flown in 2012, is Iran’s copy of the Predator, according to jerusalempost.com.