Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force

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Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Base
Seal of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force.svg
The seal of the I.R.I Air Defense Base
Active 1933–1954 (Part of Ground Force)[1]
1954–2008 (Part of Air Force)[1]
2008–Present (As Separate Force)
Country  Iran
Branch Artesh
Type Air defence
Size 15,000 (estimate)[2]
Headquarters Tehran
Motto(s) Arabic: وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ رَمَى
"And You Did Not Throw When You Threw, But God Did Throw" [Quran 8:17]
March April 18th
Anniversaries September 1st
Commander Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard
Flag Flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force.svg

The Islamic Republic of Iran Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base (Persian: قرارگاه پدافند هوایی خاتم الانبياء ارتش جمهوری اسلامی ایران‎) is a branch split from IRIAF and part of Islamic Republic of Iran Army that controls Iran's military land-based air defense established in 2008.


Before the Revolution, the United States undertook three programs (Spellout, Peace Ruby and Peace Net), to improve/upgrade the air-defence system of Iran. As well as air defence radars the network was linked using microwave LOS and troposcatter communications networks.[3][4]

As of 1996, Iranian Air Defence forces included about 18,000 military personnel. The tradition of aircraft-based air defense, derived from the US-trained Air Force from before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, was giving way to an expanding arsenal of ground-based air defense missile systems. Still, Iran was at the time unable to construct a nationwide, integrated air defense network, and continued to rely on point defense of key locations with surface-to-air missile batteries.

The bulk of Iran's Air Force Air Defence holdings by the mid-1990s revolved around 30 Improved HAWK fire units (12 battalions/150+ launchers), 45-60 SA-2 and HQ-2J/23 (CSA-1 Chinese equivalents of the SA-2) launchers. Also available were some 30 Rapier and 15 Tigercat SAM launchers. There are reports of the transfer of SA-6 launchers to Iran from Russia in 1995/1996. In 1997, the Iranian Air Defense forces declared the Almaz S-200 Angara (SA-5 'Gammon') low-to high-altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) operational.

In December 2005, Iran entered into a contract to purchase 29 TOR-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) mobile surface-to-air missile defense systems from Russia worth more than US$700 million (EUR 600 million). Between 1998 and 2002, Iran imported approximately 6 JY-14 surveillance radars from the China National Electronics Import-Export Corporation. The radar can detect targets up to 300 km away and is now part of Iran's air defense system.[5]

On 1 September 2008, it was reported that Russia may proceed with plans to sell advanced S-300 air defence systems to Iran under a secret contract believed to have been signed in 2005. On 22 September 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning the sale of the S-300 and other military equipment to Iran.[6] The sale was canceled because of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 sanctions on Iran. On 10 November 2010, Iran announced that it had developed a version of the S-300 missile. By the end of 2016 Russia had lifted the self-imposed ban on the sale and completed delivery all missiles to Iran.[7]

Iranian land forces have a total of some 1,700 anti-aircraft guns including 14.5mm ZPU-2/-4, 23mm ZSU-23-4, 23mm ZU-23s, 37mm Type 55s, 57mm ZSU-57-2 and 100mm KS-19s. Iran also had 100-180 Bofors L/70 40mm guns and modest numbers of Skygaurd 35mm twin anti-aircraft guns. Its largest holding consisted of ZU-23s(which it can manufacture).[8]

Recently Iran has built several new anti-aircraft guns including Samavat 35mm Anti-Aircraft Guns, Sa'ir 100mm Anti-Aircraft Guns (Upgraded automatic version of KS-19) and the Mesbah 1 air defense system.[9][10][11][12]

On 21 August 2012, the Iranian military started construction of its largest air defense base in the city of Abadeh in the Southern Fars Province. The air defense base is due to be built at the cost of $300 million and will have 6,000 personnel available for a large array of duties, including educational ones.[13] Days later, the defense ministry also announced plans to develop Bavar 373, a new long-range air-defense system, by March 21, 2013.[14]

Commander of Islamic Republic of Iran Army Air Defense Base

Name Took office Left office Time in office
Farzad Esmaili
Esmaili, FarzadBrigadier General
Farzad Esmaili
(born 15 January 1972)
16 January 2011 29 May 2018 7 years
Alireza Sabahifard
Sabahifard, AlirezaBrigadier General
Alireza Sabahifard
(born 21 March 1963)
29 May 2018 Incumbent 265 days


Air-Defense Artillery Systems

Model Type Quantity Notes
ZU-23-2 Anti-air Artillery, Towed and Self-Propelled ++++ Self Propelled version based on Safir Jeep
Samavat 35mm Anti Aircraft Guns Anti-air Artillery and CIWS ++++ Opt-Electronics Radar Guided
Sa'ir 100mm Anti-Aircraft Guns Anti-air Artillery +++ Iranian made Smart Opt-Electronics Guided 100mm Anti Aircraft Gun can fire 26 round per minute. It can detect and intercept targets automatically through Opt-Electronics systems at long range and medium altitude.

Sa'ir Anti Aircraft Specification:

Range= 21 km

Altitude= up to 16 km

Mesbah 1 Close-in Weapon System +++
ZSU-23-4 Self-Propelled anti-Aircraft System Weapon ++
ZSU-57-2 Self-Propelled anti-Aircraft System Weapon +++ Domestic "Bahman" based on 6x6 truck chassis.[15]

Air-Defense Missile Systems

Model Type Quantity Acquired Notes
MIM-23 Hawk Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile 200 Launcher 1970s-present In 1999 Iran locally upgrade their all of old Hawk Missile in Improve Hawk Missile and increase its Range 24-30 km, flight altitude up to 14-16 km and Speed is same as Mach 2.4
Sayyad-1 Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile 400+ Lauhcher Islamic Republic of Iran first indigenous-produced Sayyad-1 Anti Aircraft Missile which was Upgraded copy of HQ-2, Sayyad-1 has IR tracking. This Project was First Joint Winner-Applied Research in 14th Khwarizmi International Award- 2001;Tehran-Iran -The Project Title:Manufacture of Sayyad-1 Missile -Initiator: Iran Aerospace Ind. Org. Contributor:HESA & Arak Machine Ind.[16] 2010 The Islamic Republic upgrade all of their Sayyad-1 anti aircraft missile into Sayyad-1A anti aircraft missile. and increase Sayyad-1 missile range 80-100 km from previous 60 km range.

Missile Specification:

Range= 80-100 km

Altitude= 27 km

Speed= Mach 3.6

Warhead= 195 kg

S-200 Fajr-8 and S-200 Ghareh Long Range Strategic Surface-to-Air Missile 400+ Launcher 2011-present 2007 Iran upgraded all of their old S-200 missile name S-200 Fajr-8 increase its range 200-250 km and an Iranian home made version of S-200 missile name is S-200 Ghareh and increase its range 250-350 km. Now S-200 Ghareh Missile used with Talash-3 System and Bavar-373 System. S-200 Ghareh Missile Speed is Mach 6 and maximum flight altitude 40 km, equipped with 200 kg High Explosive Warhead.
SA-6 Gainful Missile Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile System 50 Launcher 1995–present Reports of eight SA-6 systems transferred to Iran from Russia in 1995/1996. Kub-M1 Missile System upgrade with Iranian Raad-1 Anti Aircraft Missile System Project work.

Missile Specification:

Range= 30 km
Altitude= 16 km

Speed= Mach 2.8

Warhead= 59 kg

Rapier Missile Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile 30


1971–present 45 towed systems with Blindfire radar delivered before 1979. 72 self-propelled systems and local production of 1,000 missiles cancelled 1979,after 2008 Iran locally upgraded all of Rapier Missile System.

Missile Specification:

Length= 2.23 meter

Range= 10 km

Altitude= up to 5 meter

Speed= Mach 2.5

Warhead= 14 kg

Tor Missile System Point Defense Multirole Surface-to-Air Missile 29 2005–present Missile Specification:

Length= 2.9 meter

Range= 16 km

Altitude= 6 km

Speed= Mach 2.8

Warhead= 16 kg

S-300P System Long Range Strategic Surface-to-Air Missile System 4 Battery 2011-present Iran collected S-300 missile system from unknown source after the Russian ban on exporting S-300 to Iran.

S-300P Systems Missile Specification:

Missile Type= 48N6 Missile

Range= 150 km

Altitude= up to 27 km

Speed= Mach 6-7.5

Warhead= 150 kg

Bavar-373 Stytem World most another Advanced Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile System 12+ Battery 2015-present An Iranian long range air defence system whose development began after the Russian refusal to supply the S-300 (since 2010 to 2015). According to Iranian defence minister Hossain Dehghan in an interview Bavar-373 system is complete[17] .
S-300PMU2 System World most favorite Long Range Strategic Surface-to-Air Missile System 4 Battery 2016-present Iran possess latest S-300 version S-300PMU2 obtained from Russia 4 were received. Russia has completed the delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran, IRIA news agency quoted Russia's state arms export agency as saying on Thursday Oct 15 2016. Iran announced that it had a "domestically made" system with the same capabilities as the S-300.[18] In 2016 Russia completed delivery all missiles to Iran.[7]

S-300PMU2 Systems Missile Specification:

Missile Type= 48N6E2 Missile

Range= 200 km

Altitude= up to 27 km

Speed= Mach 6-8.5 and Mach 9+ Speed used for counter Ballistic Missile

Warhead= 180 kg

Mersad Medium Range Air Defense System 300+ Launcher 2010-present In 2010 Iran announced that it will be mass-producing its next generation of air defense system called Mersad which based on advanced medium altitude Salamche Missile and next year Shahin Missile.

Missile Specification:

Range= Salamche 40 km & Shahain 45 km

Altitude= up to 20 km

Speed= Mach 3

Raad-1,2 & Khordad-3 Medium Range Advanced Air Defense System 400+ Launcher 2012-present
  1. Raad-1 Anti Aircraft Missile System based on Taer-1 Missile and carrier Vehicle name 1ST Khordad TEL.
  2. Radd-2 Anti Aircraft Missile System based on Taer-2 Missile and carrier Vehicle name Tabas Truck Launcher which also know 2ND Khordad TEL.
  3. 3RD Khordad TEL System equipped with Opt-Electronic System and Taer-2 Missile and Sayyad-2C Missile which also known as Khordad-3 Missile System.

Taer-1 Missile Specification:

Range= 50 km

Altitude= 25-27 km

Speed= Mach 3.6

Warhead= 40-50 kg

Taer-2 Missile Specification:

Range= 60 km

Altitude= 30 km

Speed= Mach 4

Warhead= 40-50 kg

Sayyad-2C Missile Specification:

Range= 75 km

Altitude= 30 km

Speed= Mach 4.5+

Warhead= 200 kg

Ya Zahra-3 Low Altitude Air Defense System 200+ 2013-present Mass production began in January 2013.[19]Ya Zahra-3 is improved and 3RD Generation and most powerful Version of previous Ya Zahra Missile Defense System.Ya Zahra-3 has opt-electronics equipment that help to detect and track targets when battlefield is affected by heavy jamming.

Missile Specification:

Range= 16 km

Altitude= 6500 meter

Speed= Mach 2.8

Warhead= 14 kg

Herz-9 CIWS Air Defense System 200+ Launcher 2013-present Mass production began in May 2013.[20] Herz-9 is 3.5+ generation version of Ya Zahra Missile System. Herz-9 Missile System made for very low altitude operations and its missile is very effective then it's previous system.Hezr-9 also a CIWS Missile System.

Missile Specification:

Length= 2.2 meter                     

Range= 11 km

Altitude= 5-5000 meter

Speed= Mach 3

Warhead= 14 kg

Sayyad-2 & 3 Missile Long Range Advanced Surfate-to-Air Missile 150+ Launcher 2013-present Mass production began in November 2013.[21] Sayyad-2 Advanced Missile created by Islamic Republic of Iran is the unique new addition of the World's Anti Aircraft Missile World. Sayyad-2 Missile used on missile control RADAR system named Talash-2. Talash-2 system range is 150 km and altitude 30 km

Missile Specification:

Range= 100-120 km

Altitude= 27 km

Speed= Mach 3.6-4

Wahead= 200 kg

Sayyad-3 is a similar missile but stronger then Sayyad-2 Missile. It has similar diameter as Sayyad-2 but longer body with different wings and control surfaces. Sayyad-3 Missile real range is 150 km but this range has been restricted on 120 km because used with Sayyad-2 missile in same Launcher Box and Talash-2 System.Now Sayyad-3 missile are used with Talash-3 system too. Sayyad-3 Missile mass production began July 2017 []

Missile Specification:

Range= 120-150 km

Altitude= 27-30 km

Speed= Mach 4.5-5.1


Kamin-2 Low Altitude Medium Range Air Defense System + 2018-present Kamin-2 system is the upgraded version of a missile known as Mersad and range is 60 km. Kamin-2 missile specially designed for low flying objects that targets cruise missile, helicopter, aircraft and drone at low altitude level.

Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems

Model Type Quantity
Misagh-1 Man-Portable Air-Defense System +++
Misagh-2 Man-Portable Air-Defense System ++++
Soheil Self-Propelled Quadruped Misagh-1,2 Missile based on Safir Jeep +++
Misagh-3 Man-Portable Air-Defense System +++
Qaem Anti Helicopter Missile System +

Radar Systems

  • BSR-1 – VHF radar.
  • Matla-ul-fajr I/II radar system
  • Kashef 1&2 radars
  • Alvand radar
  • Asr (radar) – Asr radar is described by Iranian officials as a S band naval three-dimensional phased array radar with a range of 200 km and capable of simultaneously identifying and intercepting 100 targets at water level or above, this radar will be installed on Jamaran frigates.
  • Alim radar system
  • RASIT ground-surveillance radar – Iran captured a number of Iraqi radars during the 1980–1988 war, and now manufactures a reverse-engineered version carried aboard a truck
  • Thamen – radar system
  • Electro-optical/radar system
  • E-warfare systems
  • SepehrOTH radar with a range of 3,000 kilometers in radius
  • Najm-802 – Phased array radar system
  • Ghadir – The Ghadir radar system which covers areas (maximum) 1,100 km in distance and 300 km in altitude has been designed and built to identify aerial targets, radar-evading aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles as well as low-altitude satellites.
  • Arash – long-range radar, entered service in December 2013.
  • Ghamar (3D radar) is an Iranian native production in electronic warfare.
  • Qadir – three dimensional radar system that can detect and track aerial threats up to a range of 1,100 kilometers
  • Fat’h 14 (Conquer 14) – with a range of 600 kilometers and can detect small airborne targets at a high altitude
  • Me’raj 4 – ground-based long-range 3D surveillance radar system in the Bavar-373 air defence system which is equipped with state-of-the-art anti-electronic warfare systems. It is capable of tracking 200 targets and has a range of 450-500km.
  • Nazir – long-range radar system with the capability of detecting radar-evading targets
  • Bina
  • Kavosh – based on MPQ-50
  • Hadi – based on MPQ-46
  • Hafez – 3D phased array radar
  • Melli – with a range of 450 km
  • Jooya
  • Alvand
  • Tareq
  • Basir-110
  • GSR-110
  • Ofogh
  • 10th Shahrivar
  • Arash I/II
  • Mesbah
  • Shahab
  • Elm ol-Hoda
  • Bashir
  • Fath-2


  1. ^ a b تاریخچه پدافند هوایی در ایران (in Persian), Islamic Republic of Iran Army, archived from the original on 2015-12-08, retrieved 15 December 2015
  2. ^ Hossein Aryan (November 15, 2011), The Artesh: Iran’s Marginalized and Under-Armed Conventional Military, Middle East Institute, archived from the original on 2016-01-11, retrieved December 15, 2015
  3. ^ "Air Defense Command And Radars". Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  4. ^ "Web Archive". Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  5. ^ "Iran MODAFL: Air Defenses". Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  6. ^ "Russia pulls plug on Iran arms deal". UPI. 22 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  7. ^ a b "Russia completes delivery of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran: RIA". 13 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2017-07-02 – via Reuters.
  8. ^ Cordesman, Anthony H.; Kleiber, Martin (2007). Iran's Military Forces and Warfighting Capabilities. pp. 62–64. ISBN 9780892065011.
  9. ^ "Iran Produces Anti-Aircraft Cannon: Samavat". YouTube. 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
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  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 2011-11-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2011-11-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  14. ^ "Iran to Boost Air-Defense Power with New Long-Range System Soon". Fars News Agency. 25 August 2012. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  15. ^ New Bahman 57mm 6x6 self-propelled anti-aicraft [sic] twin gun unveiled by Iranian armed Forces Archived 2016-04-16 at the Wayback Machine -, 14 April 2016
  16. ^ [1] Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Ali Javid (9 February 2016). "Iran IRIB2 DM Gen Dehghan defence projects: Karrar MBT, Su-30, Bavar 373, Simorgh, Qaher سردار دهقان". Archived from the original on 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-21 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "Kremlin confirms Russia started supplying S-300 missile systems to Iran". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  19. ^ Iran starts mass production of Ya Zahra Archived 2013-01-31 at the Wayback Machine -, January 27, 2013
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-05-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Iran rolls out another medium-range SAM - Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 2017-01-01. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
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