News Brief – April 9, 2012
Iran will begin deploying a new domestically developed radar system soon, says Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli.
The Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli says the new addition to Iran’s air defences “will come online in the next ten days”.
Initially the new radar system will be stationed in Iran’s more remote regions but will later be deployed throughout the country.
Referred to variously as the Thamen and Samen system, the new radar took part in February’s 10-day air defence exercise codenamed Tharallah. Numerous other air defence systems were deployed and tested during the exercise, including advanced Russian made Nemo radars and Iran’s own Kashef (Discoverer) and Matla ol-Fajr (The Start of Dawn) radars.
Both Israel and America have repeatedly implied that they could launch air strikes at Iran’s nuclear facilities if the dispute over its nuclear program isn’t resolved.
In response, Iran has been steadily building up its air defence systems as tensions mounted over its nuclear program.
While Iran has steadily developed its missile technology doubts persist over whether it could successfully defend its nuclear sites from sustained Western air strikes.
Those doubts deepened after Russia’s agreed sale of the powerful S-300 air defence system was delayed before the sale was ultimately cancelled last year; even though Russia had already trained Iranian missile crews to operate the “game-changing” air defence system.
The cancellation followed months of sustained U.S. and Israeli pressure.
Nonetheless, in the interim Iran is thought to have obtained a number of the air defence system from other source, including two possibly from Belarus and two more from an unspecified source.
However, Iran may have more than just these four S-300 systems.
Late last year Russia delivered a consignment of S-300’s to Syria. Iran reportedly paid for the missiles, so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that they appropriated part of the delivery to augment their air defences too.