Iran holds combined military exercises in its southeastern province

Ground forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have held joint military exercises in the southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan.

According to the Iranian press agency Sepah report, Basij paramilitary forces, law enforcement and border guards took part in the exercises titled “Muhammad Rasulullah”. The military drills centered on the IRGC’s southeast Quds base.

Combined tactics were tested using missiles, armor, artillery, drones, attack helicopters, infantry, special forces and melee units in the combat phase exercises.

The joint drills were observed by IRGC Quds base commander Mohammad Karami, IRGC ground forces commander Mohammad Pakpour and Ali Shadmani, deputy coordinator of the IRGC’s Khatam-al Anbiya central headquarters – a strategic headquarters responsible for planning and coordinating joint military operations within the Iranian Armed Forces.

In recent years, Iran’s military forces have taken significant steps in manufacturing a wide range of military equipment and satellite launchers. Tehran has produced new missiles domestically, despite US warnings about the Islamic Republic’s ballistic arsenal. A United Nations resolution passed in 2015 urges Iran to refrain for eight years from working on ballistic missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The document endorsed the JCPOA, an agreement signed between Tehran and six world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

January 13, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Ali Hajizadeh announced that Iran has successfully tested its solid propellant (SLV) satellite launcher engine.

“Iran’s new SLVs have a non-metallic composite body and their propulsion systems are static, which means more thrust and lower cost,” Hajizadeh said.

At the end of December 2021, the Iranian Ministry of Defense launched a Simorgh SLV carrying “three research payloads”. The search mission included the transfer of search equipment to an altitude of 470 kilometers, with a launch speed of 7,350 meters per second.

After the launch, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh responded to concerns from US and European officials about the launch of the satellite carrier. Khatibzadeh called the launch of “the inalienable right of the Iranian nation”.

In February 2020, Iran launched a research satellite carrier called “Zoljana.” The space launcher was equipped with a three-stage carrier with “two solid propulsion stages and one liquid propulsion stage”. The vehicle is “capable of carrying satellites weighing up to 220 kilograms into a 500 kilometer orbit”. At the time, engineers said the carrier would be able to put the satellite into orbit after a series of tests.

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