Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defense system

Iran's new missile defense system, called "Falaq", on display at an undisclosed location. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2019

Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defense system

  • The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and US

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

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

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.

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 to rein in its 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,” Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard, commander of the regular army’s air defenses, was quoted as saying by semi-official 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.

US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran after pulling out of the nuclear deal, which its other signatories are struggling to maintain as Washington also lobbies to establish a maritime security coalition to safeguard shipping in the Gulf in a related standoff with Iran over oil supplies.


Israel starts to install sensors along Lebanon border

Updated 19 January 2020

Israel starts to install sensors along Lebanon border

  • Work would get underway Sunday at the Israeli kibbutz town of Misgav Am to deploy the new noise-detecting technology
  • The move comes a year after Israel concluded a weeks-long operation to destroy tunnels it accused Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah of building

JERUSALEM: Israel’s army said it would start drilling to install ground sensors along its border with Lebanon on Sunday, a year after an operation to destroy tunnels dug across the frontier.
“We are deploying a defensive system into the ground.. in various locations” along the border, spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told journalists.
Work would get underway Sunday at the Israeli kibbutz town of Misgav Am, he said, to deploy the new noise-detecting technology.
The move comes a year after Israel concluded a weeks-long operation to destroy tunnels it accused Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah of building.
At least six tunnels were discovered in the operation dubbed “Northern Shield” along the border where a United Nations peacekeeping force is deployed.
Conricus said the drilling is “not related to any new intelligence” and all military activity would take place on the Israeli side of the border.
Work at Misgav Am is expected to last a number of weeks before the sensors are installed along other sections of the border.
“We understand that our activity might be seen, and most probably will be heard, on the Lebanese side,” said Conricus.
Israel has notified the UNIFIL peacekeeping force which patrols the “blue line” drawn by the UN to mark Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.
Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war.
A month-long conflict in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.