Iran welcomed a new addition to its drone fleet on Monday with the unveiling of the Fotros. Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says this familiar-looking can do anything from taking pictures of Israel to protecting Iran’s borders. So he says.
Dehqan told the crowd at the unveiling ceremony in Tehran that the Fotros boasts a range of 2000km and can stay aloft for up to 30 hours and fly as high as 7600m. Those specs are similar to those of the US Air Force’s Predator and Reaper drones and slightly less impressive if you consider the fact that the Predator’s nearly 20 years old and the Reaper’s nearly 15. It’s worth mentioning that the Fotros does look pretty similar to those US drones, a suspicious detail especially since Iran’s been accused of copying seized American drones in the past.
The Fotros appears to be an all-in-one sort of aircraft. Dehqan added that Iran’s newest drone could be armed with “air-to-surface missiles and rockets.” Apparently, the unmanned aerial vehicles passed all the proper tests and are ready for missions such as “protecting land and sea borders, monitoring oil pipelines, telecommunication lines and road traffic control, monitoring affected areas during earthquakes, blaze and floods, and environment protection.”
It’s almost impossible to hear about this new war machine and not furrow your brow a bit. Less than a month ago, Iran released video of a “drone-like guided missile” that appeared to be held together with packing tape, a clear indication that the country still has a ways to go in terms of technological sophistication. And few people can forget the Hamaseh Stealth and Combat Drone unveiled earlier this year which very obviously did not have stealth capabilities. But, hey, at least they didn’t Photoshop this thing together — at least, not that we know of.