Ahmadreza Baqeri, commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone, said the exercise “carries the message of peace and friendship while promoting Iran’s naval capabilities in the Caspian Sea,” according to Mehr news agency.
While few specifics are known about the war games, Iran’s deputy chief of naval operations, Amir Mahmoud Mousavi, told the news agency that the military will be employing its cutting-edge weapons and equipment, including shore-to-sea missile systems, as well as surveillance and intelligence systems. Diving units and commando teams are also expected to take part.
The military will deploy fighter jets and air defense systems to provide security for the drills.
Iran’s Defense Ministry also plans to test new weapons systems and equipment, including items never seen on display before, Mehr reported.
The drill is taking place in a sizeable area of the Caspian Sea and will last for five days, according to local media.
Earlier this year, Iran’s military held several military drills in an apparent attempt to send a message to its enemies. During the final stage of the Velayat 95 naval exercises in March, it tested a brand-new Valfajr torpedo system.
The Valfajr torpedo, which was revealed in 2011, is designed to attack seaborne targets, including large vessels. It is said to carry a 220-kilogram warhead capable of crippling targets at different depths in various weather conditions.
In January, the military launched a giant exercise in an area stretching from the Strait of Hormuz and Oman Sea to north of the Indian Ocean, marking the final phase of war games that began earlier in 2016. These drills involved electronic warfare, missile tests, intelligence operations, submarines, as well as relief and rescue operations.