Video: Iran unveils underground air base with jets armed with long-range missiles

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Iran’s army unveiled its first underground air force base, named “Eagle 44,” on Tuesday, state media reported.

State news agency IRNA described the base as “one of the most important air bases of the air force,” equipped with fighter jets armed with long-range cruise missiles.

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A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows an Army fighter jet during the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military air base in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)
A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows an Army fighter jet during the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military air base in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)

The base’s key characteristic is its location in the mountains and “in the depths of the earth,” IRNA said, adding that it is capable of storing and operating fighter jets and drones.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows a fighter jet during the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military air base in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)
A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows a fighter jet during the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military air base in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)

The base is “one of numerous tactical underground air bases for the army’s air force built in different areas of the country in recent years,” according to IRNA.

It is capable of readying fighter jets to respond to potential offensives, such as those simulated by the US and Israel in their recent military exercise, state media said.

Iran’s Army chief, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi and Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri visit the first underground air force base, called “Eagle 44” at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on February 7, 2023. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)
Iran’s Army chief, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi and Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri visit the first underground air force base, called “Eagle 44” at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on February 7, 2023. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

The location of the base was not disclosed.

A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows Army pilots attending the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military base for fighter jets in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)
A handout picture provided by the Iranian Army office on February 7, 2023 shows Army pilots attending the unveiling of Iran’s first underground military base for fighter jets in an undisclosed location. (Iranian Army office via AFP)

The move came ahead of the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and amid heightened tensions with the United States and Israel.

Last May, Iran revealed another underground base housing drones in the west of the country.

Last month, a drone attack targeted a military site linked to Iran’s Defense Ministry in Isfahan, which was later blamed on Israel.

Iran’s air force possesses a variety of US-made military aircraft from before the 1979 revolution, as well as Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. However, decades of Western sanctions have made it difficult to obtain spare parts and maintain the aging fleet.

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