A senior Iranian commander has praised the Air Defense Force’s achievements over the past years, saying the country, a pioneer in the technology of directed energy, is today capable of targeting micro air vehicles (MAVs) that violate its airspace.
In an interview with ISNA news agency on Wednesday, First Brigadier General Mehdi Saqafifard, the deputy head of the planning department of Khatam Al-Anbia Air Defense Base, said the Air Defense Force has become self-reliant and rendered ineffective the sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, he said, Iran was only able to detect flying objects from a distance of 380 kilometers using Western-supplied equipment.
Today, however, the country has been finalizing projects that enable the Air Force to intercept targets within a distance of up to 3,000 kilometers, said the commander, adding that the Air Force units operate radars that have a detection radius of 800 kilometers.
Saqafifard also said that the number of radar platforms has increased by about 400 times in the country, compared to the time before the Revolution.
Radars have had their technology upgraded from old interception systems to hybrid mode, he said, noting that radars are currently equipped with optical and sound-detection sensors, and other types of sensors that cannot be mentioned.
“At a low anti-cruise altitude, we have at least five to six projects that are between the testing and operational phases, including Majid, Nawab, Zubin and Dezful systems,” he said.
“After 10 years of endeavor in the field of directed energy, we have been able to reach a point that the countries possessing this technology claim to be standing at. Directed energy means that we can get rid of the MAVs intruding into our skies. That means hitting a $900,000 cruise missile at a cost of only $10,” he explained.
The commander also pointed to the progress that the Air Defense Force has made regarding electronic warfare.
“In the field of electronic warfare, we have reached a point that the world does not believe,” he said.
Following the non-delivery of Russia’s S-300 missile defense system, Iran managed to manufacture Bavar-373 with the guidance of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and efforts of the Defense Ministry knowledge-based companies, Saqafifard said.
“Today, the Bavar-373 strategic system has nothing less than the S-300, and in some areas it is even more advanced. In the near future, we will hear good news from this system to break the record and reach the levels of the next system, the S-400.”