TEHRAN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Iran has started to mass-produce the indigenously developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Shahed 129, Press TV reported Friday.
The Shahed (Witness) 129, which was unveiled last year, is a combat drone capable of carrying eight bombs or domestically- manufactured Sadid missiles simultaneously, and is designed to hit stationary and mobile targets alike, according to the report.
It has an effective operational radius of 1,700 km (1056.33 miles) in terms of accurate targeting, flight endurance of 24 hours on a single fuel run and a flight ceiling of 24,000 feet. It has a monitoring capability of 200 km (124.27 miles) radius.
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari on Friday described Shahed 129 as the IRGC's latest achievement in the area of UAV production, saying that "This smart and precise ... technology can facilitate the work of thousands of soldiers, (police) stations and different border guard stations which face numerous hardships and vulnerabilities, and it can also take charge of the security of ( country's) borders," semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Shahed 129 has been designed and produced in IRGC's Aerospace Division and is a state-of-the-art drone, he said, contending that the United States is the only other country which is building such a hi-tech drone.
Besides, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Division, said Friday that the drone can help ensure sustainable security for the country, according to Press TV.
"Shahed 129 can easily track and identify bandits, terrorists and drug smugglers as well as anyone targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran's sustainable security and can fire missiles at them upon orders from commanders," said Hajizadeh.
In March 2012, Iranian experts managed to produce Shaparak ( Butterfly) drone with a maximum operational radius of 50 km (31 miles), and a maximum flight ceiling of 15,000 feet, according to Fars.
In February 2011, Iran inaugurated the production line of two home-made UAVs with bombing and reconnaissance capabilities.
The two hi-tech drones named Ra'd (Thunder) and Nazir ( Harbinger) are capable of conducting long-range reconnaissance, patrolling, assault and bombing missions with high precision.
In 2010, Iran unveiled the country's first home-made combat UAV, named Karrar, which is capable of carrying a military payload to carry out bombing missions against ground targets. It is also capable of flying long distances at a very high speed.