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Media: Teheran unveils 'improved' radar air defense system

China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-12 07:14

DUBAI - Iran unveiled on Saturday what authorities said was a locally upgraded radar system with a range of 400 kilometers that could help defend against cruise and ballistic missiles and drones.

State television showed the Falaq, a mobile radar and a vehicle housing a control room, which it said was an improved version of the Gamma, a system that military experts said was of Russian origin.

The announcement came at a time of rising tension between Iran and United States. Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June. Teheran says the drone was over its territory, but Washington says it was in international airspace.

Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though concerns about its long-range ballistic missile program contributed to Washington last year exiting the pact that Iran sealed with world powers in 2015. The pact is intended to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.

"This system has high capabilities and can detect all types of cruise and ballistic missiles and drones," Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, commander of the regular Iran army's air defenses, was quoted as saying by semiofficial news agency Mehr.

Sabahifard said the Falaq was a locally overhauled version of a system which had been out of operation for a long time, Mehr reported. He did not give the system's country of origin.

The Falaq is a phased-array radar system which can be incorporated into Iran's larger integrated air defense, which includes an S-300 surface-to-air missile system that Russia delivered in 2016, state-run Press TV said.

"The (Falaq) system was developed in order to counter sanctions restricting access to spare parts of a previously foreign-developed system," Press TV said on its website.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday urged the world community to resist the so-called "Deal of the Century" intended by US President Donald Trump to settle disputes between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The ploy of the 'Deal of the Century' by the oppressive America and its treacherous cohorts is a crime against human society not just the Palestinian nation," Khamenei was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Reuters - Xinhua

(China Daily 08/12/2019 page11)

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