Senior Iranian military officials have confirmed that the country has increased the operational range of its Mersad air-defense missile system and optimized the guiding systems of the shield.
The announcement was made by Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli, where he cited increased range and optimized guiding system as two main features of the mid-range Mersad air defense system.
"These features make the Mersad defense shield different from the Hawk air-defense system," the General told the FARS news agency.
According to Iranian sources the Mersad air defence shield is a completely indigenised system developed by the Iranian experts and technicians to promote the country's combat power. "The system was deployed in all Army air-defence units on Sunday to boost the country's air-defense power," the General said
Mersad system equipped with Shahin missiles is capable of tracing and targeting any enemy aircrafts at 70 to 150km altitude and is considered as a mid-altitude system among the country's missile defense shields.
Esmayeeli also announced that Iran has stationed various air-defense missile systems at its borders and sensitive points and centers, and stressed, "We feel no enmity and hostility towards any other country, but if anyone dares to pose a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will then give him a crushing response."
Iran on Saturday successfully test-fired its latest air-defense missile system, dubbed as Sayyad 2, and Tehran's defense officials said that the system will be deployed across the country in the near future.
Iran had earlier unveiled Sayyad 1 surface-to-air missile which is a two-staged air defense missile that is capable of destroying targets with low Radar Cross Section (RCS) at low and medium altitudes. The system also has the capability to defuse jamming and electronic warfare attacks.
Sayyad 2 is an upgraded version and enjoys higher precision, range and destruction power compared with its previous version.
In January Iran announced that it has successfully tested an optimized version of the mid-range hawk anti-aircraft missiles in an area close to a nuclear facility.
Lieutenant Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base for Operations Colonel Abolfazl Farmahini announced that the hawk systems optimized by the Iranian experts have undergone warm testing at Khondab nuclear facility near the Central city of Arak and successfully hit their targets.
The commander said that the test was aimed at assessing the level of preparedness of the defence systems deployed in the region to defend Iran's sensitive nuclear facilities.
The commander stressed that Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base conducts such tests regularly to promote the country's defensive capabilities.
In November, Iranian Armed Forces conducted the biggest ever nationwide air drills codenamed 'Defenders of the Sky of Vellayat III'.
Iran's air defence unit has conducted successful tests of different anti-aircraft defense systems, including the anti-cruise Tor-M1 and sophisticated S-200 anti-aircraft missile system.
The Tor-M1 is a short range, mobile air defense system intended for engagement of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, UAVs, and cruise missiles flying between medium and very low altitudes even in severe countermeasures environments.
Iran's S-200 system is a very long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircrafts. Each battalion has 6 single-rail missile launchers and fire control radar. It can be linked to other, longer-range radar systems.