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U.S. Aircraft Warned off Iran’s Airspace Several Times in 2 Years

A senior military commander said Iran had used its homegrown Karrar interceptor drone to warn U.S. aircraft off the country’s airspace on a number of occasions over the past two years.

In an interview with Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, which was published on Sunday, Alireza Elhami, deputy commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force, made the remarks while commenting on the air force’s drone and defense capabilities.

Iran used the Karrar drone to warn U.S. aircraft as well as fighter jets from other countries to stay away from its southern waters, he said.

On one occasion, an American Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft was forced to change its route after the warning, while on another occasion, a U.S. Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk drone was warned away, Elhami noted.

He stressed that the Iranian drone, powered by a domestically-developed engine and equipped with a radar, can reach a height of more than 14,000 meters and is capable of flying above the intruding aircraft.

Elhami said the Karrar drone will be equipped with air-to-air missiles in the near future so that it will be able to carry out combat missions.