Iran’s first advanced air defense system becomes operational
April 12, 2010
TEHRAN -- Iran’s first advanced anti-aircraft system has become operational, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Sunday.The Mersad air defense system is capable of hitting modern aircraft flying at low and medium altitudes, Vahidi told reporters.
The Mersad system will use Iran’s domestically manufactured Shahin missiles, which Vahidi said are even more advanced than the 1970s-era U.S.-manufactured Hawk missiles.
The Hawk missile has a range of 15 miles with a 119-pound warhead.
The Mersad system is also equipped with sophisticated radar signal processing technology, an advanced launcher, and electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition, Vahidi said.
Iran has begun mass production of Shahin missiles and a sizeable number of them will be delivered to the country’s armed forces in the near future, the defense minister added.
The Mersad air defense system marks a milestone in Iran’s aerospace industry and it shows the country’s armed forces have achieved a high level of self-sufficiency in the defense industry, he observed