The Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have held joint military exercises in the country’s south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
According to Iran’s Sepah news agency report, Basij paramilitary forces, law enforcement, and the border guards participated in the drills titled “Muhammad Rasulullah.” The military exercises were centered on the IRGC’s south-eastern Quds Base.
Combined tactics were tested using missiles, armor, artillery, drones, attack helicopters, infantry, special forces, and hand-to-hand units in the combat phase of the drills.
The joint drills have been observed by IRGC’s Quds Base commander, Mohammad Karami, the commander of the IRGC ground forces, Mohammad Pakpour, and Ali Shadmani, the deputy coordinator at the IRGC’s Khatam-al Anbiya Central Headquarters — a strategic headquarters tasked with planning and coordinating joint military operations within the Iranian armed forces.
In recent years, the Iranian military forces have made significant steps in manufacturing a broad range of military equipment and satellite launchers. Tehran has been domestically producing new missiles, despite the US warnings about the Islamic Republic’s ballistic arsenal. A resolution by the United Nations adopted in 2015 urges Iran to refrain for up to eight years from working on ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The document endorsed the JCPOA, an agreement signed between Tehran and six world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
On January 13, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Ali Hajizadeh announced that Iran successfully tested its solid-propellant Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) engine.
“The new Iranian SLVs have a composite non-metallic body and their propulsion systems are static, meaning more thrust and lower cost,” Hajizadeh said.
In late December 2021, Iran’s Defense Ministry launched a Simorgh SLV carrying “three research payloads.” The research mission included the transfer of research equipment at an altitude of 470 kilometers, with a launch speed of 7,350 meters per second.
Following the launch, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh reacted to expressions of concern by US and EU officials over the launch of the satellite carrier. Khatibzadeh called the launch “the inalienable right of the Iranian nation.”
In February 2020, Iran launched a research satellite carrier called “Zoljanah.” The space launcher was equipped with a three-stage carrier with “two stages of solid propulsion and one stage of liquid propulsion.” The vehicle is “capable of carrying satellites weighing up to 220 kilograms in a 500-kilometer orbit.” Back then, engineers said the carrier would be capable of putting the satellite into orbit following a series of tests.