Iran trials suicide drones for Kamikaze strikes

Iran has tested a "suicide drone" designed to crash explosively into targets on land or in the air for the first time, part of a huge military exercise underway near the Strait of Hormuz. The so-called "mobile bomb", dubbed both the Yasir and the Raad-85 by local press, is believed to be based on a homegrown – though foreign inspired – drone design revealed by the Iranian army last year, said to be capable of flying for around ten hours before dive-bombing its victims.

Although the Yasir drone Iran demonstrated a year ago is built within the country, it's believed to be based on a design from Boeing.

In late 2012, Iran seized three Boeing ScanEagle drones, claiming at the time that they had infringed on its airspace. The Yasir follows their pattern closely, with a 360-degree imaging system for surveillance.

The Raad-85, however, has a more aggressive purpose. It's intended to be piloted remotely to a target – which could be on the ground or at sea, or even another flying craft – and then crash into it, triggering an onboard warhead at the same time.

Iran's first test of the system is part of a six-day military exercise the country's armed forces is operating near the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most frequented waterways for oil supplies being distributed around the world.

Bridging the gap between smart bombs – which generally have some rudimentary guidance system – and weaponized unmanned vehicles, the "suicide drones" intended prominence in the Iranian army's arsenal is still unclear.

VIA Associated Press