DESPARDES News Monitor — Amid tensions with the US and its Middle Eastern allies over sanctions preceded by calling off the six-nation Nuclear deal by President Donald Trump, Iran formally delivered a new surface-to-air missile system, called Khordad 15, to the Air Defense Force of its army in a ceremony in Tehran.
Built locally, the system — named after the third month of the Iranian calendar — is capable of detecting six targets within a range of 93 miles at a maximum height of 17 miles and hit them in a range of 75 miles, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Sunday in a report by the semi-official Mehr News Agency.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Khordad 15 has a range up to 200km and named for a protest in 1963 against the arrest of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Stealth jets can be targeted at 53 miles and hit within 28 miles, Mehr reported,. Other targets include reconnaissance aircraft, bombers and tactical warplanes.
“It can also be prepared for operation in less than five minute,” Hatami said.
The system uses the homegrown Sayyad-3 missile, and is equipped with a phased array radar and independent launch pads.
“Iran will increase its military capabilities to protect its national security and interests, and it will not ask permission from anyone on this matter,” Hatami said at the unveiling.
In February, the country successfully tested the Hoveizeh long-range cruise missile at a range of around 800 miles, including the capability of reaching Israel.
Later in the month, a midget Ghadir-class submarine fired an anti-ship cruise missile for the first time.
Iran has unveiled this system amid tensions with the US, “clearly to send a message about any upcoming conflict,” a defense analyst said.
The United States last month deployed the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, as well as B-52 bombers and an additional 1,500 troops, to counter imminent concerns about Iranian action.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told a Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee last month there was a “very, very credible” intelligence that Iran was preparing to attack U.S. forces or interests in the region.