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Iran Menace: Surface-Air Missiles

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posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 02:20 PM
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Iran Menace: Surface-Air Missiles
How good are Iranian air defenses ?



Continuing my in depth look at Iranian military capability, this thread will encompass what I’ve found out about Iranian SAMs and AAA.

The low down
Iranian air defenses aren’t up to much. They have some OK equipment but not a lot and little that really threatens medium/high flying US strike aircraft. The latest acquisition, the infamous Tor short range SAM system deserves its excellent reputation but isn’t enough in itself to offer credible defense. Iran is a huge country and its SAMs are too few to effectively cover it. Most of the SAM batteries have far fewer launchers than would be optimum.

However, the SAMs are effectively dispersed to make them much trickier to preemptively strike although key systems such as the limited number of SA-2 (HQ-2) and SA-5 long range SAMs would be relatively easy to neutralize.

Iran operates:
* SA-2 (HQ-2) “Guideline” medium range high altitude SAMs
* SA-5 “Gammon” long range SAMs
* Improved-Hawk medium range SAMs
* Rapier short range SAMs
* Crotale (HQ-7) short range SAMs
* Tigercat short range SAMs (probably retired)
* SA-6 “Gainful” medium range SAMs
* SA-8 “Gecko” short range SAMs
* SA-15 “Gauntlet” short range SAMs (on order)
* Various shoulder launched SAMs
* Various AAA including 23mm and 35mm

Now I’ll start running through the individual systems in no particular order.

1. Rapier
Google Earth imagery suggests that the Rapier is still a key air defense system for Iran.

The Rapier fire unit is trailer mounted with four missiles

Quantity in service: 30 launchers[1]. Generally reported as many unserviceable due to spares shortages although there are credible reports of Iranian reverse engineered production of missiles and limited upgrades[2].
Capability: Very much a point defense system with a short range of just 6km and an altitude limit of about 3km (~10,000ft) means that they are unlikely to pose a threat to most US combat aircraft. The early model Rapier also had a limitation which means that it cannot engage targets flying below the level of the launcher which impedes its effectiveness in mountainous terrain (which makes up the bulk of Iran). These Rapier I missiles do not have a warhead, instead requiring a direct impact to guarantee a hit. Comparable Rapier units operated by the British in the Falklands war were initially attributed with great success (14 claimed kills) but have since been credited with only two confirmed kills giving an extremely hit probability against fast moving jets (although there are contributing factors in this case). Unlike their modernized Rapier siblings deployed by 9 other countries, Iranian Rapiers do not have a credible anti-cruise missile capability.

Deployment. Google Earth imagery suggests that Rapier is deployed as point defense for air bases and strategic sites. Of the 30 launchers reported, I have found 14 giving us a fair idea of where the system is deployed.

Prior to the revolution, Iran was set to manufacture the British Rapier system even being allowed to export it. The primary version was to have been a tracked vehicle similar in configuration operational application to the US Chaparral system but decidedly more capable. When the revolution killed off these ambitions Iran was left with just the static Rapier I systems it’d purchased in the early seventies. The tracked Rapier’s which had been ready for delivery to Iran were diverted to the British Army.

At least one Iranian Rapier system was vehicle mounted on an all-terrain truck with reloads. There is no indication that this modification has been adopted for regular service.


Google Earth evidence
Rapier deployments can be found at several Iranian air bases and around Tehran and some nuclear facilities. Typical deployments are of just one or two launchers which is sub-optimum and points to the launcher/missile shortage.
1. Mehrabad Air Base, Tehran: (3 launchers in 2 positions)


2. Nantaz nuclear facility: (4 launchers in 2 positions)


3. Ghale Morghi air base, Tehran: (2 launchers in 1 position)


4. Rapier site just east of Tehran (2 launchers in 1 position)


5. Air defenses at Umidiyeh air base (3 launchers in 7 firing positions)


6. Air defenses at Khatami air base (unconfirmed but positions consistent with Umidiyeh)




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sources and references



[1] Tel Aviv University (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies) www.tau.ac.il/jcss/balance/Iran.pdf
[2] NTI missile chronology www.nti.org...




posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 03:20 PM
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2. Crotale (“Shahab Thaqeb”; Chinese FM-80/HQ-7 version)


Quantity in service: Unknown. Not thought to be very many.
Capability: Short range point air defense system somewhat more advanced than the Iranian Rapier units. Probably static rather than mobile.

Deployment
Although photographic evidence is sparse, there are consistent reports that Iran has purchased the FM-80 (HQ-7) short range SAM system from China and is manufacturing the missiles locally[1].

The only photographic evidence I could find of the FM-80 system in Iran

At least one source[2] indicates that the Iranian Crotale units are shelter mounted rather than vehicle mounted, the shelter being towed into position. The Chinese shelter-mounted Crotale looks like this:


At least one source[3] claims that Iranian Crotale are being integrated with the radar-guided “Skyguard” 35mm AAA system.

Google Earth evidence
It is very hard to identify Crotale on satellite imagery although I have found several air defense positions which look to me to be Crotale/Skyguard rather than Rapier or Hawk.

1. Esfahan nuclear facility: (6 launchers in 3 positions)


2. Another Crotale battery I’d previously listed as I-Hawk but I now think it’s most likely a Crotale unit. Very dispersed site.




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sources and references



[1] NTI missile chronology www.nti.org...
[2] www.csis.org/burke/mb/041208_IranDevMilCapExecSum.pdf
[3] Tel Aviv University (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies) www.tau.ac.il...


[edit on 13-7-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:01 PM
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I'm trying to digest all this, amazing info.

I really don't know what to make of it so I'm trying to compare it. How much threat would you guess Iran holds to U.S. air compared to say Syria? Would you say Syria has more SAM than Iran?

Also would you say that the Rapier is better than the Syrian SA-3? They both hold 4 missles so it would be hard guess which holds more weight.

So I leave my questions to the expert on this issue since personally I wont be a fool and claim knowledge on a subject I am just now diving into.

Also planeman, do you work for the U.S. government?



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by Techsnow
I'm trying to digest all this, amazing info.

I really don't know what to make of it so I'm trying to compare it. How much threat would you guess Iran holds to U.S. air compared to say Syria? Would you say Syria has more SAM than Iran?

Also would you say that the Rapier is better than the Syrian SA-3? They both hold 4 missles so it would be hard guess which holds more weight.

So I leave my questions to the expert on this issue since personally I wont be a fool and claim knowledge on a subject I am just now diving into.

Also planeman, do you work for the U.S. government?


Hi, thanks for the encouragement. Syria is an interesting comparison since although it has far more SAMs than Iran its SAMs are decidedly outdated. I'd say Syria poses about an equal threat to US in an air-strike or invasion scenario - which in terms of air defenses amounts to not a lot. In the middle east I'd rank the overal might/effectiveness of the various air defense networks (not including fighter aircraft) like this:

1. Israel
2. Saudi Arabia
3. Eygpt
4. UAE
5. Iran
6. Syria
7. Bahrain/Kuwait

Certainly if you compare Iran to saudi Arabia or Egypt, the capability gap is huge. When Eygpt acquires its Patriots it'll overtake Saudi-Arabia. Israel is only marginally ahead although they develop some absolutly incredible SAM systems.


Rapier Mk 1 versus SA-3, hmmmm... SA-3 has better range and altitude, I'd go for SA-3. If you entered the updated Pechora II (SA-3) into the equation and also the Rapier Janeus (sp?), well.... difficult. The SA-3 is more comparable to the Hawk SAM than the Rapier.

[edit on 13-7-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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SA-3 is much more dangerous than Rapier. The simple fact that you can fly over a Rapier battery at 15k+ feet and merrily pickle off as many JDAM and LGB as you want means that the system is too old and ineffective to worry anything other than Helo's. And you'd hope by the time the chopper guys are flying around that every Rapier system will have been smacked anyhow. SA-3, as planeman indicated, has much better range and altitude, but suffers from one fire control channel, the same limitation in both the SA-2 and SA-5. Until Iran boosts their air defence force with some SA-10/20, and decent numbers of 4th gen+ fighters, the question isn't so much if the US will get air dominance, but when.

Good effort again Planeman. Congrats on the WATS as well, first time someone I voted for has won. Keep up the good work!



posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 05:32 PM
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3. Improved-Hawk


Capability: On paper the MIM-23B Improved Hawk SAM system is quite capable but in Iranian service it is suffering from lack of spares/support and is deployed with only a few launchers per battery limiting its effectiveness. The Hawk has an effective range of about 40km and a maximum altitude of about 50,000ft.

Deployment
Iran bought the Improved-Hawk SAM from US before the revolution. Although there are some reports of local manufacture of missiles, the general view is that the Iranian Hawks suffer from spares and support problems. This view is supported by the reduced number of launchers seen per position suggesting that the system is operating at half-strength or below.

Some Hawk missiles have been converted for use as air-air missiles for Iran’s ageing fleet of F-14A Tomcat fighters. It is also possibly been converted into an air-ground missile.

Iran still employs the original fixed sites making these assets vulnerable to preemptive strike.

1. SAM battery south of Tehran: (3 launchers)
This is an original fixed site pretty typical of Hawk. Note the symmetry.


2. SAM battery at Mehrabad Air Base (3 launchers)


3. Cluster of Hawk SAM positions around Bushehr (6 launchers)


4. Hawk Battery at Bandar Abbas (5 launchers)



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 10:14 AM
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I'd just like to you some stuff about Irans hawk missiles.

First of all Iran has no problem either repairing them or maintaining them. this is evident from Iran being able to manufacture them and they also even Export Iranian made Hawk missiles and Systems and the same go with Rapiers the Iranians actually sell those to other countries int he world.

If you goto any Iranians weapons show/Event . You will see them advertising and selling these systems to forign countries becuase the Iranians Indigenously manufacture HQ-7/Crotale, Rapiers and Hawks like chocolate bars. If you ever get a chance to goto the shows in Iran check them out and you will see for your self.

Also Iran purchased :

July 1979 USA 37 improved Hawk missiles

Late 1979-1980 USA 1,442 Hawks

1983 12 HAWK and MIM-23B improved HAWK missile batteries

1986 USA 2,008 TOW missiles and 240 Hawk air-defense missiles

www.nti.org...


The rumour that Iran cannot fix/repair/maintaine or manufacture Hawk missiles systems is a myth spread by some people who have never been to an Iranians weapons show/event where the Iranians show all the weapons they manufacture for export and sale.

Mehran would know more about this but i haven't seen him on this board for a few months. He should be able to get you show you some pictures of iranian manufactured Rapiers, Hawks etc...

Also remeber most millitry forces don't throw away major weapons which have reached the end of there service life instead they place them around the country to use as a decoy this is very common with SAM's and aircraft usally the important stuff which can be used as spares for other similar systems is removed and the shell is left as a decoy to trick enemy forces. Irans wouldn't be stupid enough to leave weopons in the open without camoflauge which is basic millitry practice and protocol especially at a time of hightened war.

Iran also has massive quanitities of SAM batteries you will most likely never be able to see them becuase they are rotated around in random positions and covered in camoflauge so they cant be taken out with cruise missiles.

Also "Spy" sattelite photo are not a concreate evidence of a countries forces and what they have usally countries hide stuff becuase of this exact same reason which are spy satellites. I'm sure you will not be able to even spot 1/100th of Irans true SAM capabilities especially at a time like now with the nuke power probelems they are having with America.

By the way this isn't supposed to be offensive so please don't take this persoanlly just pointing out some stuff.



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 10:15 AM
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5. SA-5 “Gammon”


Capability : Extremely long ranged, the SA-5 poses a very real threat to slow moving aircraft especially maritime patrol aircraft (P-3 Orion etc), AEW aircraft, transports, high-slow bombers (B-52) and larger UAVs (Global Hawk, Predator). Global Hawk is particularly vulnerable if it gets within range because it lacks defensive aids and agility. B-52s probably have sufficient defensive systems to ignore the SA-5 most of the time.

But the SA-5 is not effective against faster aircraft and its fixed sites are relatively easy to strike, particularly with cruise missiles. I would expect the SA-5 batteries to be nullified very rapidly in a conflict situation.

It should also be noted that the Iranians deploy the SA-5 with only two launchers (each has only one missile) compared to 6 missiles for other SA-5 operators. This under-strength limits the ability of the Iranian SA-5 to engage anything other than single targets.

Google Earth evidence
Because the SA-5 batteries are co-located at air bases most positions can be found on google earth.

1. Bushehr Air Base (2 launchers)


2. Bandar Abbas Air Base (2 launchers)


3. Shahrokhi Air Base (2 Launchers)



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 11:16 AM
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Iqnox,


You make some familiar points and arguments. I personally think that Iran's capability to maintain Hawk and Rapier is slightly exagerated by the pro-Iranian forumites.

The argument that Iran might have hundreds of extra launchers which she can whip out in times of trouble is not all that credible. SAM batteries like Hawk require extensive infrastructure even when redeployed away from fixed sites.

Crew need training etc. And if it's in someone's garden shed then it's not ready for operation and the crew aren't practicing. Radars need to be elevated to get good coverage, particularly of low altitude threats. That means building radar position ramps (as seen in the google earth imagery) or a major modification to provide a mast mounted radar which there is no evidence of. Hawk SAM batteries generally need a search radar plus towing vehicle, a fire control radar plus towing vehicle, a command shelter (often towed, could be a tent but either way needs a vehicle to move it), generators (perhaps three) plus towing vehicles, reload vehicles, cable vehicles, towing vehicles for the launch trailers etc.

There is no doubt about it, Iran does deploy many Air Defenses to fixed positions many of which are easily found on Google Earth. These positions aren't all fakes, or if they are then Iran is even less defended than it appears, not the other way around.

As for the Hawk being locally produced. I don't doubt that. But radars, command encoders etc etc are all system critical components which are less easy to reverse engineer. I haven't seen any reports that Iran has intergrated new radars or replaced the command components - in fact if they undertook such a modification they might as well start from scratch.

And if Iran is so successful in reverse engineering the Hawk why has it started license producing the generally less capable HQ-2 (SA-2) system? - it doesn't really make sense. Then again the HQ-2 seems less frequent on Google Earth than you would expect if it was truly being produced in huge numbers. In fact there are more empty HQ-2 sites than active ones visible.

Re HQ-7, do you have any photographic evidence of the system in Iranian service? Is it shelter mounted or self-propelled. And again, in capability terms the HQ-7 fills the same role as Rapier - which goes against the concept that the Iranian Rapier fleet is as healthy as you infer.








[edit on 14-7-2006 by planeman]



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
Iqnox,

The argument that Iran might have hundreds of extra launchers which she can whip out in times of trouble is not all that credible. SAM batteries like Hawk require extensive infrastructure even when redeployed away from fixed sites.


actually it is credible. the old version of the SA-2 which is larger, heavier then the Hawk takes less about 30-45 minutes to fully deploy and get ready to fire. The newer SA-2 with wire free comms take less then 30 minutes the hawk takes even less then those. Ask any one who has served int he American forces they will also tell you that the improvedHawk missile system is fast to deploy no longer then 35 minutes to get fully ready when you have a SAM team setup the system.


Originally posted by planeman
Crew need training etc. And if it's in someone's garden shed then it's not ready for operation and the crew aren't practicing. Radars need to be elevated to get good coverage, particularly of low altitude threats. That means building radar position ramps (as seen in the google earth imagery) or a major modification to provide a mast mounted radar which there is no evidence of. Hawk SAM batteries generally need a search radar plus towing vehicle, a fire control radar plus towing vehicle, a command shelter (often towed, could be a tent but either way needs a vehicle to move it), generators (perhaps three) plus towing vehicles, reload vehicles, cable vehicles, towing vehicles for the launch trailers etc.


Actually the Iranians have teams ready with missile systems just incase of war this is common practice for all countries. you would be very surprised at how fast teams can come to a location and setup a whole sam battery no matter how complicated the system is. SAM teams do drills regularly and they can setup in minutes.

Also about the part where you claim radars need to be elevated thats not exactly true. The modern way of using SAM batteries is to Shoot and scoot so you don't have fixed positions anywhere. You come setup, use your EO,IR scanners and when you see something turn on your radar if you get a lock you then shoot and then turn off the system and move on.

A whole team will shoot and scoot with there SAM system. Fixed positions for SAM's are a WW2 technique in the modern battle field if you have a fixed or even semi fixed position you will be dead before you can even turn on your radar.

take a look at china they have the one of the largest quanitity of SAM missiles and S-300 systems you will ever see but do a Satellite image view of there country and you won't even see 1/100th of there SAM systems becuase of the ways they are employed around the country with also cammo nets on tops.



Originally posted by planeman
There is no doubt about it, Iran does deploy many Air Defenses to fixed positions many of which are easily found on Google Earth. These positions aren't all fakes, or if they are then Iran is even less defended than it appears, not the other way around.


Actually you cannot see a SAM system if it is covered correctly with cammo nets and other cammo.

think about it if you can find those site sure as hell american intelligence has also found those sites. Iran would not leave non-cammo SAM site's out in the open even a cammo net and other cammo could cost no more then $15 why would they leave a million dollar SAM system in the open without $15 worth of cammo?

These sites are designed as bait for cruise missiles and bombers.


Originally posted by planeman
As for the Hawk being locally produced. I don't doubt that. But radars, command encoders etc etc are all system critical components which are less easy to reverse engineer. I haven't seen any reports that Iran has intergrated new radars or replaced the command components - in fact if they undertook such a modification they might as well start from scratch.


Actually it wouldn't be that difficult to reverse engineer systems for a hawk system. Iran has shown good understanding of many different systems and the Hawk isn't any more advanced then some of the other technology that Iran has manufactured.


Originally posted by planeman
And if Iran is so successful in reverse engineering the Hawk why has it started license producing the generally less capable HQ-2 (SA-2) system? - it doesn't really make sense. Then again the HQ-2 seems less frequent on Google Earth than you would expect if it was truly being produced in huge numbers. In fact there are more empty HQ-2 sites than active ones visible.


Thats becuase Hawk and SA-2 serve 2 completly different purposes. The purpose of Hawk is to engage medium range/altitude aircraft while SA-2 is emplyed to engage drone's, bombers and UAV's this is evident from the Iranian SA-2 brouchre that advertises the iranian SA-2 for sale :



As you can clearly read(its a bit blurry but you can still see) it says that it is designed for High RCS targets such as Reconnaissance flights and bombers while the Hawk is a medium range general purpose missile for anti aircraft use eg.. fighters, UAV's, bombers etc...

The SA-2 missile airframe means that it is not agile in the air so it can only engage non manuverable aircraft for example like the U2 while the Hawk is more adapt at moving and turning faster and also has a shorter minimum range in which it can engage targets.


Originally posted by planeman
Re HQ-7, do you have any photographic evidence of the system in Iranian service? Is it shelter mounted or self-propelled. And again, in capability terms the HQ-7 fills the same role as Rapier - which goes against the concept that the Iranian Rapier fleet is as healthy as you infer.


The HQ-7 first of all has a more advanced radar and electronics which can detect object with lower RCS and is more immune to radar jamming making the system superiour to the Rpaier. Also another benafit of the HQ-7 over the rapier is that the missiles are self contained in firing tubes meaning the missiles are maintanance free for longer then the ones on the Rapiers.

Here's a picture of the HQ-7 that Iran has it is on for sale to forign countries and it can be seen in the export advertisment from Iran :




posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 12:59 PM
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I ran out of charecters(Max = 6500) in the above post.

Anway you can see yourself from the pictures above which are taken from the Iranian export catalog which is the offical catlog for the Iranian industry clearly shows that Iran has the Hq-7 for sale/export to other countries.



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Hey!!! look how close my artist's impression is in terms of the shelter used. like Rapier this is a towed system intended for point defense of fixed sites rather than of mobile formations (army).



posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 02:44 PM
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Shoot and Scoot isn't so much the "new way" to do it, it's more what you do to conserve your air defense assets when you are completely dominated by your enemy, hoping for a few lucky shots to sweeten the bitter pill of defeat. Notice how US Patriot Batteries didn't scoot and shoot around Kuwait as the Alies advanced.

I'm not anti-Iran and I can't be bothered with a heated debate. most of what you say is grounded in truth, you just interprete it in a way that suites your world view. Whilst you list the merits of the HQ-2 about how it's suited to high flying high RCS targets, I read between the lines which is that it's not suited to most other modern targets - it's role is only different to the Hawk because it can't do as much. If Iran was producing Hawk batteries to the extent you infer then the HQ-2 wouldn't be needed.



posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 10:53 PM
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An interesting source which may help find more fixed Hawk sites:
www.iiaf.net...

The following is a list of the radar stations that were established:

Tehran (first British built mobile radar installed in Tehran-Doushan Tapeh)
Karadj (American radar)Purchased from USA" Westinghouse Co." & was installed by Westinghouse
Tabriz (British radar)
Baboolsar (British radar)
Mashhad (British radar) Purchased from England " Marcony Co." & was installed by Marcony
ShahrAbad (40KM NW of Bojnoord - British radar) Purchased from England " Marcony Co." & was installed by Marcony
Dezful (Dehlooran - American radar) Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Spellout"
Hamadan (Soobashi - American radar) Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Spellout"
Bushehr British mobile radar, later becoming American radar. Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Peace Ruby"
Isfahan (American radar)
Bandare Abbas (American radar) Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Peace Ruby"
Bandare Jask (American radar) Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Peace Ruby"
Kish Island (American radar) Given to IIAF by USA as Military Assistance Program (MAP)under project "Peace Ruby"
Chah-Bahar (Incomplete Air Force, Navy & Army military complex - designated to have American Radar) Purchased from USA" Westinghouse Co." & was going to be installed by Westinghouse
***Sat. March 9-1979 ( 19 Esfand 1357) "Associated Press"
Col. Seyed Ahmad Madani Defense Minister of Islamic Republic announced : "Contracts of the Chah Bahar Base project Has Been Cancelled !!!!. ( Notice that cancellation of the project came only 27 Days after Islamic Regime came to power).
The IIAF also purchased 8 GPS-11 the American Moraine-Band radar Mobile System that consisted of: Westinghouse AN/TPS-43 Radar & Tropospheric scatter (E layer) Communication System as a backup to the fixed radars. In addition to the aforementioned fixed sites there were also the following mobile radar sites "Under construction":
Lengeh Near Bandare Lengeh
Taheri Near Bandare Taheri
Kohkilooyeh Near Behbahan
Abdanaan Near Dezful
Kerend Near Ghasre Shirin
In 1979 more than 90% of the job was completed.

All these 19 radar sites and facilities were built in less than 15 years. (1962-1977). While in the 23 years of Islamic regime, between 1979 and 2001, not even 1 site has been built!
Each radar site had the capacity to house 3000 to 7000 personnel and their families, and consisted of the following facilities:
Communications Sites which provided the state of the art communications network throughout the sites, the radar stations and the high command.
Anti-aircraft Hawk & Rapier ground to air missile sites,
"Hawk" ground to air missile system with its control and guidance system AN/TSQ-73 for high altitude targets and
"Rapier" ground to air Missile system for Low altitude targets.

Air Defense radars were linked to their respective defensive Hawk and Rapier Anti Aircraft missiles radar systems.
Anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) Urlikan Guns
Headquarter Buildings
Guard housing, support facilities, and motor pool
Housing community, BOQ and guest houses.
Banks, commissary, theatres, and schools.
Officer's, Homafar's and NCOs Club.
Medical and sports facilities.
Landing strip / airport, ATC and their associated facilities



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:23 PM
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Well, Iran would stand a more credible chance if Russia hadn't cut off the negotiations for S-300MPU-1. Iran doesn't have the capability to reproduce systems of that quality, but now I wonder, if the rest of the iranian projects aided by russians are at a stand still.

Sa-2 and Rapier seem like no threat to high alittude bombing, which will likely take them out, opening airpace for helos and low flying aircraft supporting should invasion take place.

Looks like Iran without those needed S-300 is now quite frankly is in a tight position, they should stand down, and at least have some credible defense if they really intend to have nuclear power (or bombs, whatever their intentions).



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 11:34 PM
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I tend to agree, without an SA-10 like system, the credibility of the air defence system is in question. Some newer generation Flankers wouldn't hurt as well! While SA-2 has a high altitude capability, it suffers due to the low manoeuvrability of the Guideline missile, the single fire control channel, and the limited counter-EW capability (even with some of the newer upgrades that are around). The SA-15 is a great buy though, a very capable system indeed.



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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SA-15 is great at what it does but not high altitude. I agree with the above two posters.

I'm surprised Iran isn't bugging China for HQ-9/FT-2000 or KS-1. The latter is pretty decent IMO.



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 05:14 PM
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I have heard that the KS-1 is not too bad. HQ-9 would certainly be useful as a strategic SAM system. FT-2000 probably still has some development and testing to go, but if it produces what has been claimed, then the Chinese will be a great source of quality air defence capabilities.

You raise an interesting point Planeman, in that it is interesting that the Iranians haven't engaged the Chinese as closely as one would expect. I wonder why that is? Maybe they view the Chinese product as inferior to the Russian and Western systems they operate? A hangup from the days when they used to get US support?

Thanks for the clarification on SA-15, that was exactly what I meant. For manoeuvre support, SA-15 will be great. There is still more Iran will have to do to beef up their air defence capabilities.



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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I think that the Iranian's intend to use their SA-15s for point defence of strategic assets such as the nuclear facilities. They'll be a massive improvement over the current Rapier, Crotale and AAA defences but they are hardly a show stopper which they could be if it was a war of manoeuvre warfare where US/Alied close support aircraft needed to fly low to ID and engage targets.

Of curiosity, some Iranian nuclear facilities are surrounded by rings of AAA emplacements which appear to be SINGLE positions of twin-23mm AAA with a crew shelter (often a Blue roofed shed) and no apparenmt radar facilities although there are some Skyguard (or similar) dotted around. The Skyguard radars and/or the Rapier/Crotale units may offer some general target info to the AAA but it is at the final crux aimed by eye - not very sophisticated and points to an adversary less dangerous than many would claim.



posted on Jul, 23 2006 @ 07:58 PM
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That's quite true for a single AAA piece, but I guess the plan is to provide barrage or curtain fire around the key assets. I know in Iraq there was a layer of AAA from 14.5mm up to the bigger 100mm+ systems around key targets, with the bigger systems having staggered altitude fused rounds, the intent being to put up a wall of lead that you had to fly through. The radars would cue the threat axis and distance. The problem these days of course is that stand-off weapons allow aircraft to remain outside the effective range of AAA. The munitions still have to get through the AAA though, but this is obviously cheaper than risking a multi-million dollar aircraft.

As for flying low, I think I talked about this in another thread, but the low altitude VID days are gone. With ROVER kits, improved sensors, and more precise weapons, no-one should be busting the tacfloor except in the most dire of circumstances. The low altitude environment is simply too dangerous, especially with SA-18-like systems out there. Even with MAWS and DIRCM on board.

None of this is in disagreement with your point though, I was just providing some additional thoughts. The fact is, given a capable expeditionary air capability against the Iranian Air Defence System, I wouldn't expect too many surprises with regards to the outcome.



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