Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

9 Ağustos 2010 Pazartesi

Iran to Further Boost Air Defense Power

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian military commander announced on Sunday that the country will boost the firepower of its air defense units with new radar and defense systems.

"New air defense weapons, radar and data gathering systems are under production and will be handed to the air defense units soon," Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani told FNA.

The commander added that Iran has manufactured different active and passive target tracing radar defense systems in recent years, a majority of which have already been handed to the country's air defense units.

Noting the different missile shields mounted and installed across the country, Miqani said Mersad air defense missiles are among those home-made systems being used by the country's air defense units at present.

In April 2010, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced that the country has built the first home-made mid-range missile defense system named as 'Mersad'.

"The Mersad air defense system that is ready for delivery to the Air Defense Base is a mid-range defense system capable of destroying advanced airplanes in low and mid altitudes," Vahidi told reporters at the time.

Noting that Mersad defense system enjoys superior and more capabilities than its western rivals like the Hag mid-range defense system, Vahidi reiterated that Mersad is resistant to electronic warfare and can be used as part of a network of radar and air defense systems.

"Mersad missile defense system is comprised of different target tracing and tracking radars, soft and hardware networks, launch pads for Shahin missiles and a command and control center," he added.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

In November, Lieutenant Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base General Seyed Reza Taheri told FNA that Iran has successfully increased the speed and range of its air defense systems.

"The air defense systems' operational speed and range have been promoted thanks to the attempts made by our country's experts. We are witnessing a jump in this field when considering the previous models," the Commander said.

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