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Iran tests missile systems during major air defense exercise
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am1(76).jpgTEHRAN – Iran tested various types of medium-range and low-altitude missile systems during the second stage of a joint air defense exercise of the Armed Forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which was held on Tuesday. 
 
The four-day military drill, entitled the Defenders of the Sky of Velayat 4, is being conducted in eastern Iran in an area covering 850,000 square kilometers with the participation of 8000 Iranian military forces. 
 
On Tuesday, air defense units of the Armed Forces and the IRGC repelled an attack by fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the hypothetical enemy against the country’s sensitive areas, using medium-range and low-altitude missile and artillery systems. 
 
Iranian surveillance planes, the country’s air defense radar network, and lookouts also detected, identified, and tracked enemy fighter jets and Iranian fighter jets clashed with them. 
 
The domestically manufactured Safat artillery system also became operational on the second day of the exercise.  
 
The Safat artillery system can hit targets with pinpoint accuracy and cannot be detected by the enemy’s tracking systems. 
 
The Mersad missile system, which has been designed and manufactured by Iranian engineers, was also tested and fired a missile, which successfully hit the target.   
 
The Mersad system uses domestically manufactured Shahin missiles, which are even more advanced than the 1970s-era U.S.-manufactured Hawk missiles.
 
The Shahin missile has a longer range and more destructive power, and can fly at higher altitude and hit modern aircrafts flying at low and medium altitudes. 
 
The Mersad system is also equipped with sophisticated radar signal processing technology, an advanced launcher, and electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition.
 
According to Iranian military officials, the major air defense exercise is being carried out to enhance military capabilities of Iranian forces and provide them with an opportunity to practice modern military tactics to counter new military threats against the country.
 
During the first stage of the exercise on Monday, air defense, radar, missile, surveillance, artillery, and lookout systems had been deployed across the theater of operation. 
 
Iran to unveil new missile, artillery systems 
 
Two indigenous missile systems, named the Ya Zahra 3 and the Qader, will be unveiled during the war games, the commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbiya Air Defense Base announced at a press conference on Tuesday. 
 
Brigadier General Farzad Esmaeili said that the Qader missile system can be deployed and launch missiles in less than 30 minutes.  
 
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