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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

IRNA: Iran reveals underground Oqab 44 air force base

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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Iran’s Air Force isn’t as powerful as the United States’ or Israel‘s fleets. In a head-to-head matchup, modern Israeli and U.S. fighter jets would make short work of Iran’s older fleet of fighters, some of which were acquired in the 1970s prior to the Iranian Revolution.

So, Iran is taking its air force underground. This week, Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on the unveiling of Iran’s new Oqab 44 base.

Oqab, which means eagle, is said to be Iran’s first underground base large enough to house fighter jets. Last year, Iran revealed it was using underground bases to house drones. It’s unclear, however, if Oqab 44 is a new base or simply an expansion of an existing facility.

Iranian Armed Forces said the planes housed in the base are armed with long-range cruise missiles, which is a bit of an indication of how Iran plans to use the base and the weapons stored there.

By hyping the long-range capabilities, military experts said Iran is signaling it plans to use the older war planes and stand-off weapons to target ground and naval targets at a distance, rather than for air defense capabilities.

“If a country or a place, from surrounding countries or anywhere in the world, is being used as a base to attack Iran, other than the Zionist regime which we are already prepared for, that base will come under our heavy attack,” Major General Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, said.

While the relationship between Iran and the West continues to fray, the Iranian regime and Moscow are growing increasingly close. Iran and Russia recently announced plans to build a drone factory in Russia together. Russia has been using Iranian-made drones in Ukraine to attack both military and civilian targets.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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IRAN’S AIR FORCE ISN’T AS POWERFUL AS ITS TWO BIGGEST FOES, THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL. IN A HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCHUP, MODERN ISRAELI AND US FIGHTER JETS WOULD MAKE SHORT WORK OF IRAN’S OLDER FLEET OF FIGHTERS, SOME OF WHICH WERE ACQUIRED IN THE 1970’S. 

SO, IRAN IS TAKING ITS AIR FORCE UNDERGROUND. THIS WEEK, IRAN’S OFFICIAL ISLAMIC REPUBLIC NEWS AGENCY REPORTED ON THE UNVEILING OF IRAN’S NEW OQAB 44 BASE. 

OQAB, WHICH MEANS EAGLE, IS SAID TO BE IRAN’S FIRST UNDERGROUND BASE LARGE ENOUGH TO HOUSE FIGHTER JETS. LAST YEAR, IRAN REVEALED IT WAS USING UNDERGROUND BASES TO HOUSE DRONES. IT’S UNCLEAR IF OQAB 44 IS A NEW BASE, OR AN EXPANSION OF AN EXISTING FACILITY. 

IRANIAN ARMED FORCES SAID THE PLANES HOUSED IN THE BASE ARE ARMED WITH LONG-RANGE CRUISE MISSILES, WHICH IS A BIT OF AN INDICATION ON HOW IRAN PLANS TO USE THE BASE AND THE WEAPONS STORED THERE. 

BY HYPING THE LONG-RANGE CAPABILITIES, MILITARY EXPERTS SAY IRAN IS SIGNALING IT PLANS TO USE THE OLDER WAR PLANES AND STAND-OFF WEAPONS TO TARGET GROUND AND NAVAL TARGETS AT A DISTANCE, RATHER THAN FOR AIR DEFENSE CAPABILITIES. 

WHILE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IRAN AND THE WEST CONTINUES TO FRAY, THE IRANIAN REGIME AND MOSCOW ARE GROWING INCREASINGLY CLOSE. IRAN AND RUSSIA RECENTLY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO BUILD A DRONE FACTORY IN RUSSIA TOGETHER. 

FOR MORE STORIES ABOUT IRAN’S ROLE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM, WHERE YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.