Iran Starts Construction of Drone Manufacturing Plant

March 5, 2009, Tehran -- Iran on Monday started construction of a plant in the northern province of Mazandaran to mass produce Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Hamed Saeedi, Managing Director of Farnas Aerospace Company in charge of the project, said during a ceremony Monday night that his company has been dealing with designing and manufacturing UAVs and reconnaissance and pilot training drones for the last 9 years.

"We plan to manufacture UAVs, including unmanned choppers and drones, at this site" he said, referring to plant in Mazandaran province.

Regarding specifications of the UAVs to be produced by the plant, Saeedi noted, "Drones will be of the tactical type, with a short range of 400 to 500 meters flying altitude which cannot be detected by radio waves as they will be stealth aircraft."

He singled out detection and control of contraband trafficking on land and in the sea and assistance in firefighting operations, specially in the woods as among other advantages of the UAVs to be manufactured in the plant.

Iran has recently made good progress in the air industry and has succeeded in gaining the technical know-how for producing stealth aircraft.

Iranian Air force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi announced in early February that Iran's home-made radar-evading aircraft will join the country's fleet within the next 8 months.

"Military Experts are working on the radar-evading aircraft and God willing its test flight will be done in the first half of the next (Iranian) year (beginning on March 20)," Shahsafi told reporters.(fars)

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