Iran Upgrades Naval Weapons Technology

News Brief — Jan 6, 2015

Iran continues to steadily upgrade its weapons and defence technology to the point that it may now be able to handle almost anything that the West may throw at it.
In the latest such development the Iranian Navy has equipped its locally built and developed Jamaran destroyer with chaff and flare-dispensing systems. The systems are used by many navies worldwide as a radar counter-measure to divert the missiles fired by other naval vessels or fighter jets.
Jamaran equipped with new chaff and flare dispensing systems, which are positioned behind the Fajr 27 naval gun. Click to enlarge

Jamaran equipped with new chaff and flare dispensing systems, which are positioned behind the Fajr 27 naval gun. Click to enlarge

Like all Iran’s recently unveiled military developments, the system appears to have been locally developed and built.
The system has been mounted behind a 76-mm Fajr 27 naval cannon on the deck of the Jamaran. The Fajr 27 is a rapid fire naval gun built by Iran and thought to be based on the Italian OTO Melara.
In addition, Iran has successfully completed testing of the ‘Asr’ phased array radar mounted on Jamaran after two months of operational evaluation in the Gulf of Aden.
Apart from continued work on its indigenous weapons systems, over the past few years Iran has made particularly rapid headway in the development of radar technology, including passive radars, phased array and long range radar.
The Asr radar is thought to be capable of detecting and identifying targets with a radar cross section of 4 meters up to 200kms away.
Asr phased array radar. Click to enlarge

Asr phased array radar. Click to enlarge

Asr which has also been mounted on Iran’s other locally developed Damavand and Sahand warships, can be used to identify a variety of targets, including cruise missiles.
The counter-measures system and the Asr radar may not seem remarkable in themselves but they mark another step in Iran’s incremental development of weapons technology. To the point that in many areas Iran’s military technology is now more or less on par with the West’s.
Only a few years ago Western military strikes on Iran and its nuclear facilities, seemed imminent. Both President Bush and later President Obama repeatedly warned that “all options are on the table” regarding Iran. The implication being that the West was ready to consider military action to deal with Iran.
Fortunately that never materialised and observant readers will note that we haven’t heard the veiled “all options” threat for some time now. That is due, in part, to the steady development of Iran’s own indigenous weapons technology.
Iran may not be developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, as Israel repeatedly claims without any evidence. It is however developing its own weapons technology and while Iran’s radar counter-measures and new phased array radar technology aren’t exactly cutting edge they are sufficiently advanced to explain why the veiled “all options” threat has yet to materialise and why it hasn’t been heard recently.