The Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced plans to boost the service ceiling of Iran-made Shahed 129 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) up to 60,000 ft (18km). Hajizadeh made the announcement while explaining the latest achievements of the IRGC Aerospace Force to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in an exhibition of the achievements on Sunday.
“Increasing the service ceiling of Shahed 129 UAS up to 50,000 ft or 60,000 ft (about 18 km) is on agenda,” Hajizadeh said during the Supreme Leader’s two-hour tour of the IRGC’s Aerospace Exhibition where state-of-the-art equipment and hardware were showcased.
In Sepetember 2012, Commander of the IRGC Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that his forces have built a Shahed 129 with missile capability.
In September 2012, Iran announced that it has started using UAS in its air defence units as part of its broader plans for strengthening the country’s air defence capability.
In December 2013, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the IRGC is capable of mounting guided missiles and bombs on its UAS.
“We have recently acquired the capability to mount guided and precision-targeting missiles with pinpointing capability and bombs on drones, which is actually among branches of advanced hi-tech in this field,” Jafari told reporters in Tehran in December.
He referred to Iran’s latest achievements in building UAS, and said, “Our latest achievement in this regard is a UAS which can fly for 30 hours and high-speed engines can increase its range.”