Iran Just Unveiled Its New Long-Range Cruise Missile
On March 8, the Iranian defense ministry revealed a new strategic cruise missile—the Soumar. New for Iran, that is. Named after a city destroyed during the Iran-Iraq War, the Soumar is a reverse-engineered copy of the Soviet-made Kh-55 cruise missile. But it’s one of the longest-range weapons Iran has—and... Read more
Karbala-5 Was Iran’s Bloodiest Battle
During the middle of the Iran-Iraq War—one of the 20th century’s deadliest conflicts—Baghdad acquired state-of-the-art weapons from East and West. In terms of modern firepower, Iraq had a clear advantage. To make up for this difference, Iran relied on huge amounts of older heavy weapons—and counted on loyal generals... Read more
Iran Stages Giant Attack on Mock Aircraft Carrier
Iran has carried out a massive attack on a mock version of an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Tehran wanted everyone to know about it—state TV broadcasted the military exercise live. It’s a revealing look at Iranian naval assault tactics, involving several waves of ships backed by helicopters and shore-launched... Read more
Looks Like Iran Upgraded Syria’s Helicopters
Some old but very interesting pictures of Syrian Mi-17s have circulated online recently. The pics show the helicopters with Iranian-made infrared sensors. The open-source military blogger Oryx analyzed the technology, which he said allows “for even greater flexibility while flying attack sorties.” It’s not clear how new the modifications... Read more
Iran’s Space Program—Still Cancelled
On Jan. 9, the Iranian government passed a new law disbanding its main space agency, eliminating the agency’s budget line and dissolving four of its main sub-institutions … for cost-saving reasons, mostly. Other agencies absorbed many of the space program’s technology and staff. At the time of announcement—first reported by... Read more
Iran’s New Drone Is a Twin-Engine Bomber
Every year during the last week of December, the Iranian government celebrates National Research Week. As this is Iran—where there’s a paucity of civilian scientific research—the week is almost completely dedicated to military achievements. The same was true for 2014’s exhibition. Amid a torrent of propaganda footage, the state-owned... Read more
Iran Just Cancelled Its Space Program
After six years of massive expenditures and lurid propaganda, on Jan. 9 Tehran shut down its troubled space program. The unceremonious cancellation occurred without notice in the Iranian press. Authorities are spreading the space agency’s manpower and assets across four ministries including the telecoms ministry and the ministry of... Read more
Iran Sent an Assassin to Intimidate the Kurds
Less than two months after the fall of Mosul to Islamic State, Kurdish leaders worried their own capital would be next. Fast-moving, well-coordinated Islamic State assaults penetrated Kurdish front lines near Irbil. Fearing the loss of the city, and the opening of a gateway for the jihadists to attack... Read more
Here’s How Islamic State Could Shoot Down Allied Warplanes
On Dec. 24, a Jordanian air force F-16AM jet fighter crashed near the town of Ar Raqqa, the “capital” of the Islamic State militant group in Syria. The pilot ejected safely but militant fighters on the ground captured him. Islamic State has been hunting allied aircraft for months—and initially... Read more
Four Israeli F-15s Dodged Syrian Missile Fire to Attack Urgent Targets
On Dec. 7, the Israeli air force carried out a series of surgical air strikes inside Syria. Such strikes are not uncommon in Syria and Lebanon—the Israelis frequently attack convoys carrying weapons to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and to and degrade Syrian regime forces in southwestern Syria. But the... Read more
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