Iran is planning to stage a massive countrywide air drill, Defender of the Sky of Vellayat III, on 16 November, the commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Ahmad Miqania, has said.

The military exercises will cover the country’s entire airspace and various air defence units of the Iranian Armed Forces will participate in the unit, according to the Fars News Agency.

The drills aim to promote the country’s air defence capabilities and to test the latest anti-air missile systems, equipment and planes produced by the country.

Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Tehran planned to produce long-range air defence missiles without foreign aid.

“We build whatever we want inside the country and the production of a long-range air defence system in Iran is already on the agenda of the defence ministry,” he said.

Iran launched an arms development programme during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war and has produced its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes since 1992.