C4iSR & Missions Systems

Iran officially unveils new long-range radar

04 June 2014
The Ghadir is a large fixed structure consisting of four arrays and a central tower. Source: Fars News Agency

Iran's Khatam ol-Anbiya Air Defence Command unveiled its new long-range Ghadir surveillance radar on 2 June, claiming that it is less vulnerable to jamming and anti-radiation missiles.

"Ghadir can stand [up] well against electronic warfare systems, and there is a very small chance [of] their discovery and destruction by anti-radar missiles," said Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, Iran's air defence commander, according to the Fars News Agency (FNA) during a ceremony in Garmsar, Semnan province.

The Iranian media released photographs and broadcast television footage of a large, fixed complex consisting of four walls of metal frames containing thousands of antenna nodes. Within these walls are various buildings and a tower fitted with more antennas.

"The radar system uses a system that resonates the frequency and can trace targets [out to] more than 1,000 km in [the] distance," Brig Gen Esmaili added. "[It] detects incoming missiles in depth and before they approach Iran's borders."

The FNA reported that the radar can "detect hostile flying objects" up to an altitude of 300 km. If correct, this would mean that it is able to track sub-orbital spacecraft. It also said that it had been tested during the 'Great Prophet 6' exercise held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in July 2011.

Another source quoted Brig Gen Esmaili as saying that "the new system uses three-dimensional technology to detect targets [and can pick up] even the tiniest of birds".


Brig Gen Esmaili's claims about the Ghadir being immune to anti-radiation missiles ostensibly suggested that it is a passive radar that detects fluctuations in the radio waves transmitted by non-co-operative sources, such as mobile telephone stations. Whether or not this is the case, the fact that the radar is a large, fixed site means that an adversary could use other types of guided munitions to destroy it.

(303 words)
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