TEHRAN -- The Iranian military said Wednesday it has successfully tested anti-missile defenses for “sensitive” sites during war games in central Iran, after Israeli and U.S. threats against its nuclear program.
The military unveiled new homegrown air defense systems, which operated flawlessly to intercept and destroy cruise missiles fired at them, on the second day of large-scale aerial maneuvers.
“The country’s air defenses are perfectly prepared to protect sensitive and vital installations through a multi-layered defense system,” said General Amir-Qader Rahimzadeh, commander of Hazrat Khatam al-Anbiya air base in Semnan.
The exercises, begun on Tuesday, combined the army’s “Majid” defense system with the “Dezful” system of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to destroy incoming cruise missiles.
Iran’s central region is home to the Natanz enrichment plant and other nuclear sites.
“A solid and multi-layered defense against cruise missile attacks was one of the objectives of the joint air defense exercises that were carried out successfully,” Rahimzadeh said.
He said the Army’s indigenous Joshan and Khatam air defense systems, used for the first time in military drills, also shot down their targets.
The Joshan defense system is an upgraded version of the Khordad 15 defense system, which uses a passive radar.
Official news agency IRNA said radars and electronic surveillance systems were also deployed in the operations.
Among them was the Quds radar which is capable of locating targets at a range of over 500 km and an altitude of over 90,000 feet.
It features tactical and single-vehicle capabilities, homegrown software, the ability to deal with electronic warfare using various techniques, the ability to distinguish between friends and foes, and the ability to link with defense systems.
During the first day of the exercise, domestically-developed, air defense missile systems, radars, reconnaissance equipment, electronic warfare devices, communication systems and a visual surveillance network were put to test.
“What we perceived during this exercise was a modern and advanced display of every aspect of air defense operations in the face of unpredictable scenarios,” IRGC chief Major General Hussein Salami said on Wednesday.
“By God’s grace, all the targets that entered the area were struck by the systems’ first shot,” he said.
“The reason for this is that the IRGC’s Aerospace Division and the Army’s Air Defense Force have acquired cutting edge technology for their very modern and advanced systems,” he added.
General Rahimzadeh stressed that Iran’s armed forced will not hesitate, even for a moment, to strengthen their defense capabilities.
“Accurate assessment of perceived threats in the airspace has driven us to develop defense systems commensurate with those
threats, and thank God, there is no threat with which we have not thought of a way to deal,” he said.
The occupying regime of Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett bragged in an address to the UN General Assembly last month that his country “will not allow” Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon.
Nuclear weapons are haram or forbidden in Iran under a fatwa issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The most intensive inspections ever by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.
Both Biden and Bennett were hinting at a possible use of military means, Ali Shamhkani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, has tweeted.