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News number: 8901241526

17:37 | 2010-04-13


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Iran to Build Long Range Missile Defense System

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi unveiled his ministry's plans to produce long-range air defense missiles in a bid to strengthen the country's defensive capability against potential enemy attacks.

"Production of long-range air defense missiles is on the agenda of the Defense Ministry," Vahidi said.

Vahidi further pointed out that the mid-range 'Mersad' missile defense system recently produced by Iran will be displayed in military parades on the Army Day next Sunday.

Vahidi had on Sunday made an official announcement on the production of the Mersad air defense missiles by his ministry.

"The Mersad air defense system that is ready for delivery to the Air Defense Base is a mid-range defense system capable of destroying advanced airplanes in low and mid altitudes," Vahidi told reporters at the time.

Noting that the Mersad defense system enjoys superior and more capabilities than its western rivals like the Hag mid-range defense system, Vahidi reiterated that Mersad is resistant to electronic warfare and can be used as part of a network of radar and air defense systems.

"The Mersad missile defense system is comprised of different target tracing and tracking radars, soft and hardware networks, launch pads for Shahin missiles and a command and control center," he added.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

In November, Lieutenant Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base General Seyed Reza Taheri told FNA that Iran has successfully increased the speed and range of its air defense systems.

"The air defense systems' operational speed and range have been promoted thanks to the attempts made by our country's experts. We are witnessing a jump in this field when considering the previous models," the Commander said.

Also in November, the Iranian Army staged wargames in the western and central parts of the country which aimed to enhance preparedness of the air defense units of Iran's nuclear facilities for confronting possible enemy attacks.