TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran announced the successful test-firing of the country’s new air defense system, Mersad, which is capable of destroying different types of modern fighter jets and drones.
“Mersad is a mid-altitude missile defense system which enjoys more and better capabilities in intercepting targets, electronic warfare and also its radar covers a wider and farther areas compared with its foreign rivals and it has been built completely by Iranian experts,” Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeel told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to test-fire the missile shield on Sunday.
The Mersad system was test-fired after a home-made missile named Shalamcheh successfully hit a Karrar-type drone.
The advanced Karrar UAV is capable of carrying a military payload to carry out bombing missions against ground targets. It is also capable of flying long distances at a very high speed.
Shalamcheh is a Mach 3 mid-range missile that can also be used as a short-range air defense system.
In a relevant development in November, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan announced the successful test-firing of the country’s new air defense system named Talash (Struggle).
“Talash is a mid-range and high-altitude air defense system used to confront the flying targets, including fighter jets and bombers, and is also capable of destroying different helicopters and drones,” Dehqan said in Tehran at the time.
“Talash defense system was designed and built to detect and intercept the targets of Sayyad (Hunter) 2 missile (the country’s latest home-made missile system with high precision, range and destruction power) to protect the country’s vital and sensitive points against surprise air threats of hi-tech combat fighters,” he added.
“Now that it has had successful tests, God willing, its production line will be launched in the near future,” Dehqan said.
In relevant remarks in September, Esmayeeli announced that Iran is mulling plans to develop its air defense systems based on the possible threats which might be posed to the country in the next five years.
“Today, the air defense is moving forward concurrently with new threats and what is going on around us shows that we should make the air defense ready to confront the threats not only of the present time but of the next five years,” Esmayeeli said in a ceremony in Tehran at the time.
He downplayed the effects of the western sanctions on the progress of Iran’s defense industry, and announced that Iran’s air defense is implementing 15 operational projects now.
Also in September, another senior Iranian commander underlined the country’s high level of military deterrence, and said the country’s air defense is making rapid progress in accordance with the advancements made in hit-tech enemy fighter jets.
“The more advanced enemy fighters grow, the more sophisticated and advanced the Iranian air defense will be,” Commander of the Eastern Zone of Iran’s Air Defense Malek Ali Asadifar said in the Eastern city of Birjand.
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector, specially missile program, and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.
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.
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