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Iran launches naval drills in Indian Ocean 

Tehran, Jan 27 (IANS) Iran kicked off massive naval drills in its southern waters on Wednesday, the Iranian navy commander said.

The exercises, codenamed “Velayat 94”, stretch over an area of around three million square km from east of the strategic Strait of Hormuz to the northern parts of the Indian Ocean, Xinhua reported.

On the first day of the drills, various homegrown vessels including speedboats and Tareq-class heavy submarine, as well as airborne units, were stationed in the zone to prevent the hypothetical enemy from entering the country’s territorial waters.

Also deployed were coast-to-sea missile launchers, coast-based artillery and electronic warfare systems.

The drills are aimed at evaluating the capabilities and testing the military equipment of the Iranian navy forces, the navy’s deputy commander, Rear Admiral Gholamreza Khadem Bigham, had said earlier.

“Iran’s presence in international waters and high seas and holding various navy drills indicate the Islamic republic’s high level of preparedness and power,” and this is an important deterrent strategy, Bigham added.

In the past, Iran carried out a number of navy drills in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

Iran used to test different kinds of missiles, reconnaissance and combat drones, as well as torpedoes.

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