by Tim Korso
The Islamic Republic moved toward self-sustainability in terms of defence equipment and weapons after it was banned globally from buying armaments from other countries. The country’s defence industry has made several leaps since then, including in air defences, which shot down an intruding US RQ-4A drone in 2019.
Iran has announced the induction of six new domestic military projects into its armed forces. Yet, the country has only unveiled two of them to the public – a new radar and a command centre for Iranian-made air defence systems. Tehran expects these latest additions to increase the country’s ability to defend its territory from attacks by stealth and low-altitude flying attack aircraft.
Iran Air Defence General Alireza Sabahi Fard praised the new pieces of equipment, developed and produced in Iran, for strengthening the country’s defensive capabilities
“Today, the (Iranian) air defence has reached such a level of combat capabilities that it does not need (help from) other countries”, Fard said.
Among the newest additions to the Iranian Armed Forces is the “Alborz” three-dimensional phased-array radar, capable of detecting aerial targets equipped with stealth technologies as far as 450 kilometres away. This radar thus renders the radar-evading aircraft useless, Iran Air Defence General Alireza Sabahi Fard claimed. Alborz is also said to be capable of detecting up to 300 targets simultaneously.
Another addition to Iran’s Air Force is the “Borhan” command and control system. It gathers information from all connected radars, such as Alborz, analyses the data and orders batteries to fire missiles to intercept the selected targets. Iran says the system can work under various conditions, including during radar jamming and “deception operations”, and is capable of taking down low-altitude targets.
Iran has been developing its domestic defence industry in light of the UN Security Council having earlier cut the country off from purchasing foreign weapons. Over the last few years, Tehran has made several technological leaps in the defence industry, producing domestic drones, missiles, fighter jets, military vessels, and air defence systems. The latter proved themselves in 2019 by taking down a US RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial aircraft after it repeatedly ignored warnings and violated the nation’s borders. Tehran claims that it also had a manned US military aircraft in the crosshairs on that day after it briefly crossed the border, but chose not to shoot it down to avoid human casualties.