Commander of Iran’s Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said the air defense unit is protecting the country’s sky through a network of nerve endings which have stretched to 3,600 important and strategic sites now.
Before the Islamic Revolution the air defense could cover 100 points and the number increased to 700 after the Iraqi-imposed war started against Iran (1980-1988), Esmayeeli told FNA on Sunday.
After the war and the seperation of the air defense unit from the Army’s Air Force, the number “increased to 3,600 places”, he added, explaining how the network of Iran’s integrated defense system protects the entire country through these nerve endings and the connections among them.
Esmayeeli also referred to Iran’s five-year plans to develop its air defense system under a plan dubbed ‘Velayat 1’ which specifies the number of forces, their places and the quality of their deployment as well as the quality of their strategy, agility and mobility in any defensive priority, and said the country plans to implement Velayat 2, 3 ,… plans in the future.
In December Esmayeeli attended a ceremony to inaugurate several important air defense systems in Iran.
At the time, Commander of Iran’s Air Defense Zone in the East Malek Ali Assadifar said the projects enhanced the operational level of the country’s air defense systems in the Eastern zone.
General Esmayeeli had announced in early September that Iran is mulling plans to develop its air defense systems based on the possible threats which might be posed to the country in the next five years.
“Today, the air defense is moving forward concurrently with new threats and what is going on around us shows that we should make the air defense ready to confront the threats not only of the present time but of the next five years,” Esmayeeli said in a ceremony in Tehran at the time.
He downplayed the effects of the western sanctions on the progress of Iran’s defense industry, and announced that Iran’s air defense is implementing 15 operational projects now.
Also at the same time, Assadifar underlined the country’s high level of military deterrence, and said Iran’s air defense is making rapid progress in accordance with the advancements made in enemy’s hi-tech fighter jets.
“The more advanced enemy fighters grow, the more sophisticated and advanced the Iranian air defense will be,” he said.
In relevant remarks in mid-May, Esmayeeli said his forces are fully prepared to defend the country against threats in the region.
Speaking during a visit to the country’s Southwestern Air Defense Zone at the time, he pointed to Iran’s eye-catching growth in air defense systems in recent years, and stated that Iran’s air defense capability is so advanced that it is not comparable to what it could do during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s.
“At present, the air defense unit’s capability, capacity and expertise can defuse any threat existing in the region,” Esmayeeli stressed, adding that the air defense forces enjoy a “desirable” level of preparedness.
The Iranian Armed Forces have recently test-fired different types of newly-developed missiles and torpedoes and tested a large number of home-made weapons, tools and equipment, including submarines, military ships, artillery, choppers, aircrafts, UAVs and air defense and electronic systems, during massive military drills.
Defense analysts and military observers say that Iran’s wargames and its advancements in weapons production have proved as a deterrent factor.
In September, the Iranian Armed Forces displayed the country’s latest home-made military tools, weapons and equipments in large military parades in Tehran and across the country.