The Iranian military has conducted a large-scale electronic warfare exercise against mock enemy drones, helicopters, and fighter jets.
Codenamed “Shield of Velayat’s Guardians,” the drill involved various units from the Iranian Navy, Army Ground Forces, and Air Force.
Domestically-made radars, drones, micro aerial vehicles, and other military equipment were deployed in the central, largely desert region of the country to participate in the training.
A new VTOL UAV was seen for the first time in Iranian service during Separ-e Hafezan-e Velayat exercises
While similar in design to the Mersad-2 (VTOL variant of RQ-21 based Mersad-1/Ghased) seen in Houthi service, I don't believe they're the same drone upon closer look pic.twitter.com/8NsPJ1K4ip
— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) August 26, 2023
According to a state broadcaster, the exercise allowed the military to assess the performance and effectiveness of Tehran’s fixed, mobile, ground-based, and airborne electronic warfare systems against sophisticated threats.
Various tactics were reportedly tested during Shield of Velayat’s Guardians, including identifying radio and data link communications, disruption of enemy radar systems, and execution of group attack operations.
The army did not disclose the types of enemy aircraft it simulated during the exercise.
Deputy Chief of the Army for Coordination, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, claimed that more than 95 percent of the activity’s objectives had been successfully achieved.
He also revealed that all strategies employed during the exercise reflected Iran’s “great progress” in electronic warfare.
“The army has the appropriate infrastructure, and we have achieved favorable results in countering threats in today’s world and predicting future threats in this sensitive and complicated arena,” he stated.
Sayyari said his country is now fully ready to counter any type of threat, but he also emphasized that Tehran would never take aggressive actions against other nations.
C-130H (5-8547) fitted with electronic warfare systems
Looks similar to Sahab pod (previously mounted to F-27 aircraft) pic.twitter.com/sAyDBq2AuF
— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) August 25, 2023
Increasing Drone Threats
Iran’s electronic warfare exercise comes amid increasing drone threats posed by regional arch-foe Israel.
The Israeli Air Force currently operates various unmanned aerial systems, including the medium-altitude, long-endurance Heron drone for strategic reconnaissance and surveillance operations.
Earlier this year, Jerusalem was reported to have integrated a “smokeless” and “silent” gravity bomb into its combat drones to make them more lethal on the battlefield.
Iran also accused its arch-foe of attacking one of its military facilities using loitering munitions in January.