Tehran (IP) - Iran's progress in defence and arms, especially in the construction of UAVs, is an issue that is approved by all.

Iran Press/Iran News: Iran is now one of the few countries in the world that has a growing trend in the design, development, and construction of various types of UAVs.

Given the increasing role of drones in various areas of land, air and sea battles, as well as in many civilian areas, this development is very important.

Shahed 129 (English: "witness") can be considered as one of the most important models and defense achievements of the Iranian Armed Forces in recent years; It is an Iranian single-engine medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned and armed combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designed by Shahed Aviation Industries for the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

It has proved Iran's position among the countries that have this technology more than ever. This modern drone is the result of years of efforts by all the young elites of the country's knowledge-based companies and the IRGC Air Force.


One of the most efficient and effective UAVs that has joined the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recent years is the Shahed 129 UAV. This drone is one of the best drones that has ever made in Iran. This drone is similar to the WK450 drone made in France and its initial model was flown in March 2012 at Badr Airport in Isfahan.

The next prototype, which, unlike the first model, was equipped with a Retractable Landing Gear, flew in June 2012. The first prototype of the Shahed 129 UAV, equipped with fixed landing gear and not capable of carrying weapons, made its first operational flight on July 3, 2012, during the Great Prophet-7 exercise.

The drone flew above the area of the drill and the missile launching sites in Kavir Lut and sent live videos of ballistic missile launches to a command center.

During Sacred Defense Week that year, a television program about Iran's military achievements a short clip of flight of Shahed 129 broadcasted without giving the name of the drone and detail.

A year later, in October 2013, Major General Jafari, the then IRGC commander, officially unveiled the Shahed 129 UAV and ordered its mass production.

Some time later, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, announced the specifications of the drone in a television program.

Shahed 129 is a reconnaissance and combat drone that has 8 meters long, 3.1 meters high, and a wingspan of 16 meters.

The drone is made of composite materials and an aluminum structure.

The engine of Shahed 129 called Rotax 914 (is a turbo-charged, four-stroke, four-cylinder, horizontally opposed aircraft engine with air-cooled cylinders and water-cooled cylinder heads) and is capable of carrying four Sadid 345 smart missiles weighing a total of 400 kg.

Shahed aviation industry experts have designed and built a prototype of the Sadid 361 missile that can be used against both mobile and fixed ground targets. This smart bomb without an engine rocket was named Sadid 341.

When the fin stabilizers were installed on its sides, it was named Sadid 345 and became the main weapon of the Shahed 129.

The engine of the drone is designed with three blades and its rudder is designed in a V shape.

Its Retractable Landing Gear is made by Iran Electronics Industries and its surveillance and targeting camera is made by Iranian optics industry called Eagle-6.

A new model of Shahed 129 was unveiled after the Initial model, with one major difference being that a satellite navigation system had been added.

Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, noted that this capability was added in early 2015. This model is completely recognizable with the doomed shape beak and is similar in size, shape, and role to the American MQ-1 Predator.

The addition of satellite navigation capability makes it possible to increase the operational range of the drone without the need to increase the number of ground stations. On December 7, 2019, the naval model of Shahed 129 named Simorgh was unveiled in the presence of Deputy Chief of the Army for Coordination, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, and Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, Commander of the Navy in Konarak.

Other features of Shahed 129 include accurate targeting with a radius of 1700 km, a flight 25,000 feet (7620 m), a 24-hour flight duration with each refueling, very low cost of missions, and the ability to land at all airports.

It is designed in such a way that all kinds of equipment can be installed on it and can also be used effectively in controlling road traffic, and natural resources. The Shahed 129 drone can be flown from a road without any special capabilities and at the same time can be controlled from a control center the size of the cabin of a trailer.

The control and guidance of the Shahed 129 is done remotely by ground control centers. The optical system of the drone has the ability to detect 211 km around and at night, day, and all weather conditions and give the commanders clear photos. The missions defined for the Shahed 129 drone include operational reconnaissance, destroying enemy positions and photographing positions and sending them to the command center for final decision. The drone can also be used against terrorists and smugglers, reconnaissance at land and sea borders, environmental affairs, mapping, and aerial photography.

Since the cost of each flight hour for fighters is $ 11,000, this drone can be an economic solution for reconnaissance and combat missions at a cost of 111,000 Tomans per hour.

Operational history

The drone has carried out 129 successful operations against terrorists based in the east of the country to the Takfiri groups in Syria and Iraq.

The war in Syria created the opportunity for Iranian aviation industry experts to test this product in real war conditions and identify and eliminate its weaknesses.

For the first time in April 2014, two of these drones were transferred to the Mezzeh Military Airport in Damascus. One of the drones registered its first reconnaissance flight on April 11, 2014, over Eastern Ghouta. The first missions of Shahed 129 were to identify and support Revolution Guards forces and groups defending the Holy Shrine and to identify and monitor the positions of terrorist groups such as ISIS.

It was not the first time that the IRGC has used UAVs in Syria. Earlier in 2013, the IRGC used Sadegh and Shahed 123 UAVs in Syria. For this purpose, three more Shahed 129 were transferred to Syria in 2015 and 2016. Two modified aircraft were also stationed at the Syrian Air Force base. Since the summer of 2016, it has conducted 129 missions, and each drone is equipped with four Sadid 345 smart bombs. According to Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, the drone has flown 800 sorties and is present in the Syrian airspace 24 hours a day. At the same time, at least 4 Shahed 129 UAVs have been used to protect Iran's eastern borders, especially the Iranian-Pakistani border, and to monitor any terrorist movements since 2015.


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