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Nobody in the West is saying as much but Iran’s air defence technology may just have taken a big step forward in terms of sophistication and capability.
Iran claims its new medium range air-defence system the Raad or R’ad has been specifically designed to confront US aircraft. As Israel also operates a lot of U.S. manufactured military aircraft that would also include Israeli military planes too.
How effective the Iranian designed and manufactured system would be remains to be seen. However, with a claimed range of 50 kilometres and an engagement altitude of 25 to 27 kilometres it should be effective, at least on paper.
In response to repeated implied threats from Israel about “all option” being open to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran has put considerable effort in recent years to upgrade its defence capability.
This has become all the more urgent since Russia’s agreed sale of the advanced long-range S-300 air defence system fell through. Since then Tehran has redoubled its efforts to upgrade its own indigenous weapons technology, in particular its air defences.
As a result, Iran’s own version of the long-range S-300 air-defence system, the Bavar 373 is currently being developed and could be operational as early as next year.
In the meantime it has also developed and fielded other indigenous air defence systems: the Mersad, the Mesbah 1 and now the Raad or R’ad.
As noted though, it remains to be seen whether in the event of hostilities breaking out Iran’s air defences could effectively contain U.S. and/or Israeli air strikes. But on paper at least, and now on video, this latest addition to the country’s air defences looks formidable enough.