IRGC in Major Naval Drills

IRGC in Major Naval DrillsIRGC in Major Naval Drills

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) started a large-scale naval exercise on Wednesday in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.  

Codenamed the Great Prophet 9, the drill features speedboats equipped with radars, advanced electronic communication systems, cruise missiles with a range of 25 kilometers, anti-ship medium-range missiles, medium- and large-caliber torpedoes, sea mines, heavy machine guns, rocket-launchers and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.

The first stage of the games witnessed the firing of 20 coast-to-sea and surface-to-surface missiles. In addition, speedboats fired 400 rockets targeting a life-size mock-up US aircraft carrier.  For the first time in naval maneuvers, a precision-guided missile was successfully test-fired from a helicopter at the carrier. Fateh-110 and Zelzal missiles were also fired at ground targets on an uninhabited island.

Thirty vessels conducted a mine-planting operation, and shoulder-fired missiles and boat-mounted guns engaged drones.

High-ranking officials, including Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Hossein Salami, Deputy Chairman of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Gholamali Rashid, Commander of the IRGC Naval Force Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division Lieutenant General Amirali Hajizadeh, attended a ceremony held to mark the major exercise.

"Considering the importance of the armed forces and (the increasing) naval might, and given the (current) regional conditions, it is essential that special attention be directed to military centers," Larijani told reporters on arrival in Larak Island where he reviewed naval forces on exercise, adding that the government has allocated adequate funds to boost the country's military capabilities.

The Strait of Hormuz, where the drill is taking place, is a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman, connecting the Persian Gulf with the Sea of Oman. It is the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the high seas and is one of the world's most strategically-important chokepoints, through which one fifth of the world's oil passes.