Iran Unveils New Locally Developed Air Defense System

This photo released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, June 9, 2019, shows the Khordad 15, a new surface-to-air missile battery at an undisclosed location in Iran. The system uses locally made missiles that resemble the HAWK missiles that the U.S. once sold to the …
Iranian Defense Ministry via AP

TEL AVIV — Iran on Sunday unveiled a locally developed missile defense system that it claims can intercept six projectiles simultaneously as well as target fighter jets and enemy drones from a distance of 75 miles, state media reported.

The air defense system, called “Khordad 15,” was inaugurated in Tehran by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami.

According to Hatami, the weapons system is capable of detecting targets from 150 kilometers (93 miles) away and stealth targets 85 km (53 miles) in distance. It can hit them at a distance of 45 km (28 miles).

The Khordad 15 is the latest in a series of weapons systems developed by the country that includes missiles, ships and drones.

In February, Iran said it successfully mounted precision-guided warheads on its most advanced, longest-range missile, the Khoramshahr-2.

A day earlier, Iran boasted that it had successfully fired a new cruise missile with a range of 800 miles in defiance of U.S. demands that the Islamic Republic cease expansion of its ballistic missiles program.

The missile, called Hoveizeh, is said to be a high-precision weapon capable of flying at low altitudes and carrying a heavy payload.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran with test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile capable of “carrying multiple warheads.”

The U.S. and other Western officials have dismissed Tehran’s claims that the ballistic missile program is defensive in nature. Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a massive trove of documents smuggled out of Iran by the Mossad that he said was conclusive evidence of Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

Hatami on Sunday claimed that the new air defense system was for defense purposes only.

 

News of the Khordad 15 comes amid increased tensions with the U.S.

Last week, Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that Iran could have a nuclear bomb in six to eight months.

He also said that Tehran has not been sticking to its side of the nuclear deal.

“Iran is actually weaponizing uranium enrichment without making a weapon,” he claimed.

“If they put in their maximum effort,” he said, Iran could produce nuclear weapons in as little as half a year.

 

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