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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's Air Force completes 5-day aerial drills

RIA Novosti

20/10/2008 14:09 TEHRAN, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Iranian Air Force completed on Monday a five-day series of large-scale exercises in the northwest of the country, the IAF press service said in a statement.

The exercises started on Thursday near Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province to "boost Iran's defense capabilities, improve the morale of the army and display the might of the country's Air Force."

"During the final stage of the exercise, Saegheh and Sukhoi-24 fighters dropped 'smart bombs' developed by Iranian specialists," the statement read.

The war games have involved the entire range of Iran's fighter fleet, including U.S.-made F-4, F-5, F-7 and F-14 fighters and domestic Saegheh fighters. Mid-air refueling by Boeing 707 aerial tankers was also practiced.

Domestically manufactured drones, photo-reconnaissance aircraft, and electronic surveillance planes were also tested during the exercise.

The aircraft flew simulated combat missions from air fields in Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz and Hamadan.

Iran has conducted several high-profile war games this year. The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its nuclear program.

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