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Iran Unveils 3 Homemade “Smart Bombs” Usable On Drones

By Orkhan Jalilov August 9, 2019

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Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami unveiled the new homegrown munitions, including the ‘Yasin’ and ‘Balaban’ guided smart bombs and the newest generation of Qaem-class bomb, an electro-optical guided weapon with pinpoint accuracy, in a ceremony in Tehran on August 6. / Tasnim News Agency

Iran's armed forces have unveiled three new "advanced precision-guided smart bombs," usable on drones, prior to unveiling what officials have said is a domestically made, long-range air defense system named Bavar-373 later this month. 

Precision-guided munitions known as Yasin – named after a surah, or chapter, in the Koran – and Balaban, a bird of prey; along with a new generation of Qaem electro-optical guided bombs that are all domestically manufactured, were unveiled on Tuesday in Tehran, according to Iranian Labour News Agency.

"Balaban has folding wings designed to increase its range. It is guided by GPS and sensors and could be mounted under planes, choppers, and drones” Iran’s Defense Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, said at the event.

Hatami described Yasin as a long-range, smart, pinpoint and guided bomb that can be fired from a range of 50 km (31 mi.) from its target from manned or unmanned aircraft. Yasin has supposedly been tested and fired from an Iranian F7 fighter jet during a military drill in 2017. Balaban was also tested and fired from a Karrar drone during the same drill.

Speaking about Qaem, the general said that it is also a “smart bomb,” meant for precision strikes, and could hit within 50 centimeters of a target. Supposedly Qaem can be equipped with different warheads, including penetrating and explosive fragmentation versions, which can be loaded on a broad range of drones, such as the Iranian-made Shahed-129, Hamase and Mohajer-6.

Mohajer-6 drones were recently flown by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ground force in an operation against terrorist groups operating along the border regions of Iraqi Kurdistan. The 5.67-meter (18.6 ft) drone has a service ceiling of 18,000 feet and flies at a maximum speed of 200 km per hour.

Meanwhile, Hatami announced on Wednesday that a homegrown long-range air defense system named Bavar-373 will be unveiled on the National Day of the Defense Industry, which falls on August 22 this year.

Bavar-373 is a domestically-built, long-range mobile air defense system which was developed after the UN Security Council passed a resolution banning the sale of advanced weapons to Iran, which in turn suspended Iran’s purchase of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system.

A distinguishing feature of Bavar-373 is its vertical launching system with square launchers, mostly used for air defense on warships. It uses a long-range, phased array fire-control radar, dubbed Me’raj-4. It employs three different types of missiles to hit targets at various altitudes.

On August 4, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced that the Damavand destroyer, which has been overhauled for the past 18 months, is now equipped with many new features and will soon be equipped with vertical launching system missile cells.