US and Israel Jointly Monitoring Developments in Iranian UAV Industry, New Versions of UAVs

Defence Industry

By ARIE EGOZI

 Tel Aviv: The US and Israel are exchanging intelligence about the new Iranian made UAV that have been used to attack US forces. The intelligence efforts are focused on the new versions of armed UAV that have added to Iran’s attack capabilities.

The Iranians have understood according to Israeli sources that their advanced UAV are the best weapon to attack US forces and Israeli targets when operated by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, their main  proxy. Some of the recent attacks Israel allegedly performed in Syria were against shipments of advanced UAVs from Iran via Syria to Lebanon.

According to General Hossein Salami, Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Iran has UAV capabilities that even the United States does not have, such as UAVs that can launch a ballistic missile that can hit a moving ship. General Salami’s remarks was aired on Channel 1 (Iran) on November 11, 2021.

In an interview to Iran’s Channel 1 Salami said, “In the field of UAVs, even the Americans cannot do some of the things we do. An anti-ship UAV that can hit any place on a moving ship – and 3,000 kilometres away, on top of that – is really something unique. Pay attention. A ballistic missile that can hit a moving ship is something unique.”

Israeli experts say that while it is clear that the Iranian general has exaggerated about the capabilities of the new Iranian UAVs, it is clear that the Iranian industry has received an order to make a special effort to introduce more advanced armed UAVs.

According to the NY Times, an armed drone strike last month on an American military base in southern Syria was Iranian retaliation for Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

According to eight American and Israeli officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, “The drone attack, which caused no casualties, would be the first time Iran has directed a military strike against the United States in response to an attack by Israel, an escalation of Iran’s shadow war with Israel that poses new dangers to US forces in the Middle East.”

This attack has resulted in an immediate decision of the US and Israel to jointly follow the developments in the Iranian UAV industry and the deployment of the new versions.

In the first phase of developing the advanced armed drones, Iran used mostly off the shelf parts. But according to the updated intelligence, Tehran has in recent months managed to develop some development of the new armed drones. Iran is using more advanced subsystems manufactured locally, with help from foreign experts that have been recruited in different countries.