23 Aug 2010

High speed attack drone displayed by Iran

5:15 pm on 23 August 2010

Iran has unveiled what it says is an unmanned aircraft, or drone, capable of carrying out long-range bombing missions and flying at high speed.

The unveiling follows a series of warnings by Iran against any attack over its nuclear programme.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the aircraft carries a message of friendship, but would bring death to Iran's enemies.

He says a key message is to prevent any clashes that can cause death and to render all the enemies' weapons useless with Iran's defence potential.

Iranian state TV later showed the aircraft in flight. It said it had a range of 1,000km and could carry two 115kg bombs, or a precision bomb of Stg 500.

The BBC reports the plane is the latest in a series of new pieces of military hardware unveiled by Iran.

On Saturday, Iran began loading fuel rods at the Bushehr nuclear power station built and operated by Russia.

Western states suspect Iran is trying to obtain a nuclear bomb, though Iran says its programme is designed to boost domestic power supplies.