What do a state-of-the-art, bullet-proof armored vehicle, a smart robot, a hand-launched reconnaissance drone, a guidance and control system for missiles, and a portable jamming system that can detect drones all have in common?
They are all Iranian-made pieces of new military hardware that were unveiled in Tehran on Thursday by the Army Ground Forces.
“Rouintan” is a light vehicle said to be resistant to steel core bullets that can fully protect its passengers. The network-based “Heydar-1” smart robot is a six-wheel-drive vehicle that is furnished with 360-degree rotating wheels, which reportedly can detect obstacles in its path. And the small, hand-launched drone called “Farpad” is designed for combat intelligence collection units serving in mobile offense brigades or rapid reaction squads. The drone is said to be equipped with an autopilot system, a portable ground station and imaging apparatus for day and night flights.
These new products were all designed and manufactured by the Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the Iranian Army.
Speaking at the ceremony on Thursday, Deputy Commander of the Army Brigadier-General Mohammad-Hossein Dadras voiced Iran’s preparedness to counter any threat, criticized the United States’ military presence in the Middle East, and called on Muslims to ensure the region's security through strengthening their unity.
Despite economic sanctions, Iran has been self-sufficient when it comes to producing military armaments and defense-related hardware. Iran’s officials maintain that it is all for defensive purposes and not aggression, although the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities using drones launched by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen on September 14 has raised doubts about that claim.
In recent months, Iran has unveiled multiple new missile, drone and air defense systems and other equipment amid the escalation of tensions in the region, which followed the Trump administration’s decision in May to send a carrier strike group to the Middle East.
Tensions escalated between Iran, the United Kingdom and the U.S. in June, when Iran reportedly downed a U.S. military drone over its airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, and an Iranian oil tanker was seized in Gibraltar – after which Iran retaliated by seizing a British tanker in the Persian Gulf.