- The Washington Times
Monday, November 18, 2013

Iran unveiled a new drone on Monday that is being touted as its biggest and most technologically advanced yet, capable of flying for 30 hours nonstop — long enough to hang above Israel, the defense minister claimed.

The drone, a reconnaissance and combat craft called Fotros, can reach 1,250 miles, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said in The Times of Israel. Iran’s previously touted technological breakthrough, the Shahed-129 drone, was supposed to have a similar flight range but could fly only for a maximum 24 hours.

“This drone is able to carry out reconnaissance missions and carry air-to-surface rockets for combat operations,” Iran’s official state-run media quoted Mr. Dehghan as saying.

Fotros can reach the majority of the Middle East, and it will be key to expanding Iran’s military abilities, he said.

The announcement of the drone is the latest in Iran’s touted military developments, including new jet fighters, tanks, submarines, missile and torpedoes, The Times of Israel reported. But most of these developments have yet to be verified by sources outside the country.

Mr. Dehghan said the new drone is due to the efforts of scientists at Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industries. He also bragged that the drone’s development comes despite the hefty sanctions imposed by the international community to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

“Sanctions by enemies can’t create an obstacle in the path of progress for our defense industries,” he said, according to the state-run IRNA outlet.


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