Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles from underground launch facilities on the second day of its major naval and aerial drills in southern Iran.
U.S. forces in several Middle Eastern bases in the U.A.E., Qatar and Kuwait were put on high alert and ordered to stay in bunkers anticipating the missile exercise, CNN reported.
The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Wednesday that ground, aerial and naval operations were carried out against positions of the “hypothetical enemy” during the final phase of the exercises, codenamed Payambar-e A’zam (The Great Prophet) 14.
The final phase kicked off on Tuesday across land, air and sea in the general area of Hormozgan Province, west of the Hormuz Strait and in the Persian Gulf. The drills involved units of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division and Navy.
Head of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, “For the first time, we fired ballistic missiles from a location deep underground, which means the buried missiles suddenly break the ground open, without using common launch pads and facilities, and hit their targets with accuracy.”
The drills included an attack against the life-size replica of a Nimitz-class US aircraft carrier, which the American navy usually sails into the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz.
The IRGC forces also practiced a missile combat operation by firing surface-to-surface Hormuz and Fateh (Conqueror) missiles as well as a ballistic missile at the designated targets, the statement.
Various homegrown unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including Shahed-181 (Witness-181), Mohajer (Immigrant), and Bavar (Belief), attacked and successfully destroyed their targets, while various types of anti-ship and surface (coast)-to-sea missiles were fired in the exercises.