Iran's UAV program was launched in the wake of the 1980-88 war with Iraq. Iran had also been investing in several families of attack and multirole UAV. Over the years, Iranian officials reported the deployment of target drones and such UAVs as the Mohajer-3 (also called Hodhod or "a hooded bird") and the Mohajer-4.
Early models of the Mohajer were reportedly used during the late 1990s on reconnaissance missions into Afghanistan during their civil war, and were also tested during the 1990s as aerial weapons platforms using the RPG-7 series of rocket propelled grenade launcher.
The Mohajer-4 underwent a test flight on 16 February 2002. The Saeqeh UAV was tested at the same time. Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, Ali Shamkhani, said that Iran was one of the few countries to have the knowledge for designing and building UAVs.
On 7 November 2004, Hezbollah, an Islamic militant organization with close ties to Iran, flew a Mohajer-4 over northern Israel for approximately 5 minutes. The UAV entered Israeli airspace at more than 100 knots and an altitude of about 1,000 feet. After briefly flying over the seaside city of Nahariya, the UAV fell into the sea as it returned to Lebanon. An embarassment for the Israeli government, the overflight proved to be a symbolic success for Hezbollah, which claimed the flight to be an appropriate response to Israeli incursions over Lebanon.
The prominent London-based Arab daily newspaper, Ash-Sharq Al- Awsat, quoted an unnamed senior officer with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as saying Iran has sold 8 Mohajer-4s to Hezbollah.
There is no Mohajer-5. possibly the Mohajer 4-B is considered as the Mohajer 5. The Sadiq – or Mohajer-4B 40 – is a significant evolution of the M4 platform that was unveiled during a defense industries exhibition in 08/2014. No performance information is available. There is some uncertainty over its designation because they were unveiled alongside two related MoD projects (aerial-survey and air-defense payloads).
The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) used a Mohajer-4B unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to film several U.S. Navy warships, including USS Boxer, few days ago, Iranian sources revealed on 20 July 2019. A day earlier, the IRGC released the video taken by the Mohajer-4B, denying U.S. claims of shooting it down. The video shows USS Boxer being escorted by several other warships in the Strait of Hormuz. The Mohajer-4B is the most modern variant of the Mohajer-4 family. The UAV was designed for reconnaissance. It has a fixed, forward-facing camera for navigation as well as an expanded payload bay that can carry an IR\EO system and a downward-facing surveying camera at the same time. The UAV, which was first presented in 2011, has a flight ceiling of 4,5km, a maximum speed of 200km, an operational radius of 200km and an endurance of 6 hours.
The newest version, the Mohajer-6, which was first announced in 2016 and went into mass production in 2018. Iran's Defense Ministry on Monday unveiled Mohajer 6 drone equipped with Qaem precision-guided bomb during a ceremony 05 February 2018 attended by Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Speaking to reporters, Hatami said Mohajer 6 has the capability to carry out surveillance, reconnaissance and combat missions within a wide operational radius and can help the Armed Forces identify and destroy pre-determined targets.
He added that the drone could help conduct aerial surveillance for a long time and hit targets with high precision. The minister noted that the new Iranian drone was capable of sending intelligence to control and command centers during day and night and could take off from and land on short runways. During recent years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.
Indigenously-produced Mohajer-6 tactical and combat unmanned aerial vehicles were delivered to the drone fleet of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces on 17 July 2020. Speaking at the ceremony, commander of drone unit at the Iranian Army Ground Forces, Brig. Gen. Hasannejad said the delivery of the Mohajer-6 combat drones would begin a new phase for an extensive use of drones in the Army Ground Forces’ operations.
“With the deployment of these unmanned aerial vehicles, any threat to the Iranian borders and even beyond the borders, will be identified, tracked down and removed before it could even take form,” Brig. Gen. Hasannejad stressed.
The drone has the capability to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and enjoys a wide operational range and wingspan with a high precision. Other features, according to the commander of the drone unit, include “the ability to carry precision-guided projectiles, high tolerability in various weather conditions, and easy use in various geographical locations.” Iran begun mass production of the indigenously-produced Mohajer-6 tactical and combat unmanned aerial vehicle back in February 2018. Mohajer-6 is said to be the first UAV of the Mohajer family that is armed with a guided weapon system and is bigger than the other types of Mohajer family.
The Mohajer-6 is the latest and most advanced model from the Mohajer drone family. The drone has successfully been used by Iran in a number of anti-terror operations in recent years. “Its introduction to the Command of the IRGC Ground Forces led to major developments, substantially increasing flight endurance and increasing our presence in operation zones,” Colonel Akbar Karimloo said about the drone 27 April 2020 . “The drone has also been used in combat, delivering efficient blows to enemy forces,” he added.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy on Wednesday received 188 new naval drones and helicopters, including three unmanned aerial vehicles unveiled for the first time. In a ceremony in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on 23 September 2020, the IRGC Navy commander said the new drones are capable of taking aerial images of fixed and mobile naval targets in combat operations.
According to Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri, all IRGC Navy operations are now carried out with homegrown drones as the new aircraft have joined its fleet. Three drones have been unveiled for the first time, namely Sepehr vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone, Shahab-2, and Hodhod-4 VTOL drone. The IRGC Navy commander said the three new drones can take off from naval vessels.
Another drone that joined the IRGC Navy’s fleet was Mohajer-6, an all-weather pilotless aircraft with a range of 200 kilometers and designed to carry a payload of 4 missiles. The other new products include two amphibious helicopters and four combat choppers armed with missiles.
Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere. Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.
Back in February 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile programs.