Iran’s homegrown Karrar drone, which has been furnished with a radar, has on several occasions forced American military aircraft and other foreign fighter jets to stay away from the Iranian airspace by flying at very high altitudes above the intruders, a commander said.
In an interview with Tasnim, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force Brigadier General Alireza Elhami said the Karrar drone has been equipped with a radar.
The Air Defense has also developed data acquisition and electronic warfare systems as well as optical and combat field reconnaissance systems that are installed on UAVs with various ranges and utilities, he added.
The general said Karrar has several times forced the foreign manned and unmanned aircraft to change their course over the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman at high altitudes.
Karrar is the first Iranian military drone that has set a service ceiling record by reaching an altitude of 47,000 feet, he noted, adding that the drone has given radar or radio warnings to the foreign aircraft that have been approaching Iran’s coastal waters or its flight information region (FIR).
The commander said a number of the foreign planes wanted to test Iran’s capabilities by changing their altitude, while Karrar continued to fly above them with a fully homegrown engine.
He noted that Karrar has warned off several foreign aircraft over the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Oman Sea during the past two years, saying the Iranian drone has forced an American P-8 reconnaissance aircraft, a US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone, and several fighter jets from the other countries to keep their distance from the Iranian airspace.
Known as an advanced interceptor drone, Karrar is among the new generation of Iran’s jet drones, configured to intercept the enemy’s flying objects. It enables the country’s armed forces to conduct a broader range of air defense operations at high altitudes.
In remarks in 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei described the air defense base as a very crucial part of the Armed Forces that is at the frontline of confronting enemies of Iran.
The Khamenei also stressed the importance of accelerating the capabilities of the base and the Air Forces’ staff.