TEHRAN The Iranian Armys ground forces have kicked off a massive military maneuver to showcase their rapid deployment capabilities.
Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari, the commander of the Iranian Army's Ground Force, inaugurated the two-day Eghtedar 97 drills in the central province of Isfahan on Friday morning.
The drill is aimed at assessing new structural changes to the Army's ground forces with over 12,000 forces participating to exercise state-of-the-art offensive tactics.
Armored vehicles, artillery units, rapid reaction forces, mechanized infantry, electronic warfare, telecommunications and UAVs were deployed to the vast maneuver area.
Demonstrating quick mobilization of forces as well as providing airborne support to helicopters throughout the maneuver are among the major goals of the drill.
In these drills we will showcase two important developments: a special-forces rapid deployment battalion and a highly mobile offensive armored battalion, General Heidari said.
On the first day of the drill, RF-4 jets and drones were used for reconnaissance sorties.
Commandos deployed by military transport planes and up to 60 helicopters hunted mock armed militia members, while an armored battalion successfully blocked enemy forces as they tried to retreat.
Heidari said the drills would delight Irans allies while warning aggressors that they would face a rapid and crushing blow by the Iranian army if they make any wrong moves.
In recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and hardware.
The country has conducted major military drills over the recent years to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and state-of-the-art army equipment.
The Islamic Republic maintains that its military might poses no threat to other countries, stating that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.
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