Laser is being used in artillery systems for two purposes, and could help increase the volume of fire, mobility and precision
General Shahrokh Shahram said Tehran has obtained the technical know-how to manufacture and utilise advanced cannons using high-power laser beams, the Tasnim news agency reported. He explained: “Laser is being used in artillery systems for two purposes, and could help increase the volume of fire, mobility and precision.”
Mr Shahram claimed Iranian military forces were employing laser technology in preparing artillery systems, launching artillery ammunition, and in radars, which would accurately detect, track and hit the hostile targets.
He also said Iran had developed homegrown weapons with the laser technology, with the country’s military in possession of laser-powered weapons capable of annihilating stealth aircraft.
Mr Shahram said Iran was using the laser systems to protect its “critical and vital centres”, adding that Iranian military experts were “on the cutting edge of laser technology”.
Hassan Rouhani’s Iran claims to have acquired laser weapons
The US military drone was shot down earlier this year
Alex Vatanka, a fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think that anybody in Iran would seriously claim that the country’s conventional forces are world-class.
“However, their missile capabilities are relatively good.
“They have invested in these recently, largely out of necessity.”
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard with pieces of the downed US drone
Mr Vatanka suggested there was likely to be “an element of exaggeration” when it came to Iran’s claims about its military capabilities.
However, he also pointed out that the country’s military had recently down a US military drone with what Tehran claimed was equipment developed by its own scientists.
The incident was evidence that Iran was increasingly confident in asserting itself in the Middle East, Mr Vatanka said, adding: “Whether their claims are true, and nobody knows for sure, the fact is that the perception in the region is that Iran downed a US drone and the US did not respond.”
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US President Donald Trump aborted an airstrike on Iran earlier this year
Ayatollah Khamenei wants Iran to develop new weapons
Mr Vatanka, who emphasised that he was not an expert in military technology, added: “In terms of whether Iran has the latest laser technology we shouldn’t just laugh at them, and we should not ignore the fact that they have made headway.”
Tehran also had military ties with both Russia and China, he explained, who would both have strategic reasons to help Iran develop cutting edge military technology.
In March, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said the country’s Navy has developed a weapon to beat the American anti-drone laser weapon system.
The location of Iran’s missile sites
In August 2018, Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei encouraged the development of technologies for manufacturing military components and update training programs.
Tensions between Iran and the West have increased in recent years, largely as result of Mr Trump’s decision to pull out of the landmark JPOCA deal aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons, and subsequent imposition of tough economic sanctions.
The deputy director of foreign policy at Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution, Suzanne Maloney, told Sky News suggested attacks such as the one which saw Iran shoot down the US drone were likely to become more commonplace
Hassan Rouhani’s Iran is currently the subject of tough sanctions
She said: “Iran, having failed to really resolve the economic pressure, has every incentive to up the ante.
“So I think we’re likely to see more attacks.
“They’ll be calculated, they’ll be measured and deliberately intended to avoid the red line that the President has set about American casualties.
“But it is going to continue to impact the regional climate and the regional economy quite severely.”