Navy to stage large-scale military drills in Indian Ocean

The Iranian Navy’s deputy commander says the country’s naval forces are to hold large-scale drills in the Indian Ocean in two weeks’ time.

The Air Force along with the Navy will hold the military maneuvers, Rear Admiral Touraj Hassani-Moqaddam told IRNA on Thursday.

The exercises are to be held in an area extending from the Makran Coast in southeastern Iran to “the Indian Ocean … towards the end of [the Iranian calendar month of] Bahman (which ends on February 19),” he added.

“The Navy’s state-of-the-art armaments and equipment will be deployed during the large-scale exercises,” said the official.

Those include vessels, submersibles, surface-to-sea missiles, drones, and electronic warfare equipment. The drills are also to be joined by marine brigades and naval commando units.

“In these exercises, we will display the Islamic Republic’s power in the region with the aim of establishing security,” Hassani-Moqaddam noted.

“In order to contribute to international maritime security and reinforce the country’s diplomacy, Iranian naval vessels stay invariably alert and would, in addition to carrying out surveillance missions, engage [in any possible confrontation] if necessary,” he added.

Prior to the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the Iranian Navy only sailed in the Persian Gulf’s waters, but now it maintains a “powerful presence” in the high seas, said the official.

The Navy carries out recurrent military maneuvers and maritime security missions in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Aden, Suez Canal, and China’s territorial waters, the commander noted.

The Navy also sailed in the Atlantic in November 2016 for the first time.

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