Iran has established an underground base for fighter jets designed to withstand possible strikes by U.S. bunker-busting bombs, state media reported.
The base, named Oghab 44 (Persian for “eagle”), can accommodate “all types of fighter jets and bombers, in addition to drones,” the official news agency IRNA said, releasing images and videos from inside the facility.
The base was unveiled as the country prepares to mark the 44th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and appears to be an attempt to show strength at a time when the clerical regime is facing mounting pressure at home and abroad. Protests in Iran have plagued the ruling mullahs for months.
It also comes after a suspected Israeli drone strike hit an Iranian military facility on January 28, in an attack that analysts said was part of a new effort to contain Tehran.
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The exact location of the base was not revealed, but state media said it was “at the depth of hundreds of meters under the mountains,” and capable of withstanding “bombs by strategic U.S. bombers.”
Oghab 44 is “one of numerous tactical underground air bases for the army’s air force built in different areas of the country in recent years,” IRNA reported.
It can prepare fighter jets to “counter possible offensives” such as those practiced by the U.S. and Israel in their recent military drill, according to state media.
Iran has mostly Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets that date back to the Soviet era, as well as some Chinese aircraft, including the F-7.
Some American F-4 and F-5 fighter jets dating back to before the revolution are also part of its fleet.
In May last year, Iran’s army revealed an air force base for drones under the Zagros Mountains in the western part of the country.
Reported by RFE.