Commander Highlights Preparedness of Iranian Air Force
TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Iran's Air Force said here Saturday that his forces have displayed their actual combat readiness and capability in several cases in the last few months.
"The alien planes identified, traced and forced to land in Iran by air force pilots after violating the country's airspace is a clear indication of the readiness alertness and capability of the armed forces," General Hassan Shahsafi said while addressing commanders and personnel.
In October, Iranian Air Force fighters forced a NATO Falcon to land after the jet violated Iran's airspace.
The NATO jet had entered Iranian airspace from Turkey despite repeated warnings by the Islamic Republic Air Force.
The jet was flying at low altitude in a bid to remain unnoticed by Iranian Radars, but it was made to touch down at an Iranian airport escorted by Air Force fighter jets.
Also later in October, Iranian warplanes forced a Belarusian fighter jet to land for interrogations after the plane violated the country's airspace.
In both cases Iranian authorities allowed the planes to continue their path as interrogations revealed that the pilots had violated Iranian airspace unintentionally.
General Shahsafi further described Air Force preparedness and capability as the main factor deterring enemy attacks against the Islamic Republic, saying, "The enemy has not been able to attack our dear homeland because of the alertness, capability and preparedness of the armed forces."
He also described the "increasing power of the Iranian Air Force and its high defensive capability as an indication of the country's power and deterrent capability", and reiterated, "Today the Army's Air Force is a strengthened stronghold against any kind of threat and aggression by the enemies."