The first two production examples of a new attack helicopter were handed over to the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation (IRIAA) and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on January 2. The ceremony, attended by the Iranian defense minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, coincided with the last day of a major Iranian military exercise called Velayat-91, during which operational units fired a number of anti-ship missiles.
In the quarter century since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has established in-house capability for the development and production of cruise and ballistic missiles. To cope with the effect of the military equipment sales embargo on the country, Iranian specialists have mastered reverse-engineering methods.
A complex chain of illegal sales, technology proliferation and cooperation between countries the Bush Administration regards as rogue states has produced what some fear may have increased the threat to naval vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf.