In a boastful flex of military muscle at a time of increasing tensions, the Iranian army has provided a glimpse inside its new subterranean drone base.
The facility's specific location wasn't disclosed, but it's said to buried hundreds of meters underground somewhere in the Zagros Mountains, a nearly thousand-mile-long range spanning most of western Iran.
"Strategic UAV Base 313" was showcased in a Saturday report on Iran state television. The reporter was blindfolded during a 45-minute helicopter flight to the facility.
"No doubt the drones of Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces are the region's most powerful," said Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi. "Our capability to upgrade drones is unstoppable."
The show of strength comes at a time of rising hostility between Iran and the Israeli and U.S. governments:
On May 17, Israeli media reported that the U.S. Air Force would join Israel in a drill simulating a massive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
On May 22, Israel assassinated a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officer in Tehran.
The Iranian TV segment, which aired Saturday, showed a tunneled facility stocked with an array of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), said to total 100.
Among them, Ababil-5 drones, which were first revealed in an April military display. The displayed Ababil-5 UAVs were fitted with Qaem-9 air-to-surface missiles, which are akin to the U.S. military's Hellfire.
"The Iranian military is rapidly developing its drone capabilities, and we are also producing new types of UAVs that can carry out all kinds of missions," said Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran's armed forces.
With the broadcast, Iran unveiled two new cruise missiles: the Heidar-1 and Heidar-2. This 1-minute hype video about them is worth watching for the intense drum soundtrack alone:
For a fuller look around the facility, here's the complete Iranian state TV segment: