Military Wiki
Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force
قرارگاه پدافند هوایی ارتش جمهوری اسلامی ایران
IRI Air Defence Seal.svg
Active 2008 - present
Country Iran
Branch Air Defense
Commander Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force (Persian: قرارگاه پدافند هوایی ارتش جمهوری اسلامی ایران‎) also known as Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base (Persian: قرارگاه پدافند هوايي خاتم الانبياء‎) is a branch split from IRIAF in 2008 and has more than 18,000 military personnel. It controls all of Iran's military land-based air defense. It is currently commanded by Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili.


As of 1996 Iranian Air Defense forces included about 18,000 military personnel. The tradition of aircraft-based air defense, derived from the US-trained Air Force from before the 1978-79 revolution, was giving way to an expanding arsenal of ground-based air defense missile systems. Still, Iran was at the time unable to construct a nationwide, integrated air defense network, and continued to rely on point defense of key locations with surface-to-air missile batteries.

The bulk of Iran's Air Force Air Defense holdings by the mid-1990s revolved around 30 Improved HAWK fire units (12 battalions/150+ launchers), 45-60 SA-2 and HQ-2J/23 (CSA-1 Chinese equivalents of the SA-2) launchers. Also available were some 30 Rapier and 15 Tigercat SAM launchers. There are reports of the transfer of SA-6 launchers to Iran from Russia in 1995/1996.In 1997 the Iranian Air Defense forces declared the Almaz S-200 Angara (SA-5 'Gammon') low-to high-altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) operational.

In December 2005 Iran entered into a contract to purchase 29 TOR-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) mobile surface-to-air missile defense systems from Russia worth more than USD 700 million (EUR 600 million). Between 1998 and 2002 Iran imported approximately 6 JY-14 surveillance radars from the China National Electronics Import-Export Corporation. The radar can detect targets up to 300 km away and is now part of Iran's air defense system.[1]

On 1 September 2008 it was reported that Russia may proceed with plans to sell advanced S-300 air defense systems to Iran under a secret contract believed to have been signed in 2005. On 22 September 2010 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning the sale of the S-300 and other military equipment to Iran.[2] The sale was canceled because of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 sanctions on Iran. On 10 November 2010 Iran announced that it had developed a version of the S-300 missile.

Iranian land forces have a total of some 1,700 anti-aircraft guns including 14.5mm ZPU-2/-4, 23mm ZSU-23-4, 23mm ZU-23s, 37mm type 55s, 57mm ZSU-57-2 and 100mm KS-19s.Iran also had 100-180 Bofors L/70 40mm guns and modest numbers of Skygaurd 35mm twin anti-aircraft guns.It largest holding consisted of ZU-23s(which it can manufacture).[3]

Recently Iran has built several new anti-aircraft guns including Samavat 35mm Anti-Aircraft Guns, Sa'ir 100mm Anti-Aircraft Guns (Upgraded automatic version of KS-19) and the Mesbah 1 air defense system.[4][5][6][7]

On 21 August 2012 The Iranian military has started construction of its largest air defense base in the city of Abadeh in the Southern Fars province,the air defense base is due to be built at the cost of $300mln and will have 6,000 personnel for a large array of duties, including educational ones.[8] Days later, the defense ministry also announced plans to develop Bavar 373, a new long-range air-defense system, by March 21, 2013.[9]


Air-defence artillery systems

Model Type Quantity Notes
ZPU-4 Anti-air artillery
ZU-23 Anti-air artillery
Oerlikon 35 mm/Samavat Anti-air artillery 92+
KS-19/Sa'ir 100mm Anti-Aircraft Guns Anti-air artillery
Mesbah 1 Close-in weapon system
ZSU-23-4 Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon 100+

Air-defence missile systems

Model Type Quantity Acquired Notes
MIM-23 Hawk Surface-to-air missile 150 1970s-present Locally manufactured improved version of the original 1960s US Hawk system. The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force had recently revealed its own version of the MIM-23 Hawk the Shahin which is under production. In 2010 Iran announced that it will be mass producing its next generation of air defense system called Mersad which would integrate with the Shahin missile.[10]
SM-1 Surface-to-air missile Locally manufactured copy of a c.1970s variant
Shahab Saqeb Surface-to-air missile 2002–present copy of the Chinese HQ-7 (FM-90) system. This Project was First Joint Winner-Applied Research in 14th Khwarizmi International Award- 2001;Tehran-Iran -The Project Title:Production of Low Range Ground to Air Missile;Shahab Saqeb - Initiator:Iran Aerospace Ind. Org.& Contributor:D.I.O)[11]
SA-2 Dvina/Sayyad-1 Surface-to-air missile 45 Up to 45 Launchers, HQ-2J and indigenous-produced Sayyad-1. Upgraded copy of HQ-2, Sayyad-1A has IR tracking. This Project was First Joint Winner-Applied Research in 14th Khwarizmi International Award- 2001;Tehran-Iran -The Project Title:Manufacture of Sayyad-1 Missile -Initiator: Iran Aerospace Ind. Org. Contributor:HESA & Arak Machine Ind.[11]
Ghareh Surface-to-air missile 10 upgraded copy of SA-5 Gammon with 250 km range. Iran has five battalions and each battalion is composed of six launchers and one fire control radar.
SA-6 Gainful Surface-to-air missile 8 1995–present Reports of eight SA-6 systems transferred to Iran from Russia in 1995/1996.
SA-5 Gammon Surface-to-air missile 200 Locally upgraded and improved [12][13]
Rapier missile Surface-to-air missile 30 1971–present 45 towed systems with Blindfire radar delivered before 1979. 72 self-propelled systems and local production of 1,000 missiles cancelled 1979
Tigercat Surface-to-air missile 15
SA-22 Greyhound (Pantsyr S1) Surface-to-air missile 10 2008–present [14][15]
Tor missile system Surface-to-air missile 29 2005–present [16]
S-300 Surface-to-air missile 4 Iran claim to possess two S-300PT from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source despite Russian refusal to deliver them.[17] Iran announced that it had a "domestically made" system with the same capabilities as the S-300, but this is unverified.[18]
Mersad Air Defense System N/A 2010 Iranian designed Air Defense system using Shahin missiles.
Raad Air Defense System N/A 2012 Iranian air defense system based on Russian Buk.
Ya Zahra Air Defense System N/A 2013 Mass production began in January 2013.[19]
Herz-9 Air Defense System N/A 2013 Mass production began in May 2013.[20]

Man-portable air-defense systems

Model Type Quantity
Misagh-1 Man-portable air-defense systems
Misagh-2 Man-portable air-defense systems
RBS-70 Man-portable air-defense systems 50
SA-7 Grail Man-portable air-defense systems
SA-16 Gimlet Man-portable air-defense systems 700[21]
SA-18 Grouse Man-portable air-defense systems

Radar systems

  • Gamma
  • Kasta
  • 1L13 "Nebo" VHF radar
  • Vostok radar [22]
  • Kolchuga [23]
  • JY-14 Radar (Chinese origin)
  • Matla-ul-fajr radar (Iranian origin)
  • Kashef 1&2 radars (Iranian origin)
  • Alim radar (Iranian origin)
  • Thamen
  • Ghadir - The Ghadir radar system which covers areas (maximum) 1,100 km in distance and 300 km in altitude
  • Najm-802 - Phased array radar system
  • Sepehr - Over-the-horizon radar with a range of 3,000 kilometers (Iranian origin) [24][25]
  • Arash(under development)


  1. "Iran MODAFL: Air Defenses". Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  2. "Russia pulls plug on Iran arms deal". UPI. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  3. Cordesman, Anthony H.; Kleiber, Martin (2007). Iran's Military Forces and Warfighting Capabilites. pp. 62–64. ISBN 9780892065011. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  4. "Iran Produces Anti-Aircraft Cannon: Samavat". YouTube. 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  5. "IRGC receives anti-aircraft cannons". PressTV. 2011-11-29. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  8. "Iran Starts Building Powerful Air Defense Base in South". Fars News Agency. 2012-08-21. Archived from the original on 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  9. "Iran to Boost Air-Defense Power with New Long-Range System Soon". Fars News Agency. 25 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  10. "No Operation". PressTV. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 [1][dead link]
  12. "Fars News Agency :: Iran Optimizes Missile System". 2008-02-17. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  13. "Almaz/Antei Concern of Air Defence S-200 Angara/Vega (SA-5 'Gammon') low to high-altitude surface-to-air missile system". Jane's Information Group. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  14. "Iran set to obtain Pantsyr via Syria - Jane's Defence News". 2007-05-22. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  15. "Syria is to send Iran air defence systems from Russia: Jane's". 21 May 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  16. "Tor M1 9M330 Air Defense System". Defense Update. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  17. "Russia halts sale of air defense missiles to Iran". The Washington Post. June 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  18. "Iran to unveil S300-type air defence system". Trade Arabia Business News Information. 08 Feb 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  19. Iran starts mass production of Ya Zahra -, January 27, 2013
  21. "Iran Iranian army land ground armed forces military equipment armoured vehicle intelligence pictures". Army Recognition. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  23. [2][dead link]
  24. "Iran to produce 3000-km-range radar". PressTV. 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  25. "Iran develops long-range radar system". PressTV. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 

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