Mersad Air Defense System

Tehran (IP) – In today's wars, air defense systems play a vital role in countering air threats as well as preventing enemy domination of the battlefield space. Mersad Air Defense System can be considered the first native Iranian system whose components have all been made domestically.

Iran PressIran News:  During the 8-year imposed war of the Ba'athist regime of Iraq against Iran, Iran's air defense systems, according to the initiatives of Martyred Brigadier-General Mansour Sattari, who was the then Commander of the Air Defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, used the defense assets, especially the Hawk missile system, to shoot down Iraqi fighter jets.

After the end of the imposed war, this defense system was used as a basis for designing and building the first indigenous ground-to-air defense system in Iran, the 'Mersad' system.

At the inauguration of the production line of the Mersad missile system on April 11, 2010, the then Minister of Defense of Iran, Ahmad Vahidi, announced that this medium-range air defense system could destroy modern aircraft at low and medium altitudes and was more powerful than similar defense systems such as the MIM-23 Hawk.

Also, the Mersad system has high mobility, can deal with electronic warfare, and has the ability to network with other radar and defense systems.


Mersad Air Defense System can be considered as the first native Iranian system whose components have all been made domestically. It is the result of completing the improvement of the American air defense system 'MIM-23 Hawk'ldدا in Iran.


In all research, design, and production stages, the Mersad system uses the experience of imposed war and has been developed by experts from the Aerospace Industries Organization.

The main components of this fully digitally designed system include search and target tracking radars, software and hardware networks, launch pads, and a control and command center.

In general, the most important changes of this system compared to its American counterpart can be considered using digital electronics, advanced electronic components with solid-state technology in radars and missiles, improved algorithms in target detection and tracking, and fire control system in its construction.


The radars of this system are called 'Kavosh,' 'Jooya,' and 'Haadi,' which have been designed from American models, but with many changes, especially in using digital technologies.

'Kavosh' Radar can track targets with a cross-sectional area of half a square meter at a distance of 150 km and lock them on the radar at a distance of 80 km, the maximum destruction power of which is estimated to be about the range of 45 km.

'Jooya' Low-altitude Detector Radar also plays a role in helping detect and track targets flying at low altitudes.

'Haadi' Radar is also responsible for locking the target and directing the missile towards it. In the Mersad system, engaging two targets simultaneously using two 'Haadi' Radars has been established. This radar is also equipped with electro-optical tracking systems that maintain its optical lock function in severe electronic warfare.

'Mersad 2' Air Defense System was introduced in the 2010s with updates and optimizations compared to its first-generation and joined the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.

Through making complete changes to the control room of this system, Iran's Army air defense specialists used new technologies and wrote special codes for different stages to build this system in complete secrecy and to effectively deal with the surrounding threats.

The radar detection range of the Mersad 2 Air Defense System was increased to 220 km.

'Shahin' and 'Shalamcheh' missiles are two examples of missiles developed for the Mersad system. The images released from them show a complete change in these two missiles' design and construction stages compared to the American Hawk missile.

The main changes are in guidance and navigation systems, most obviously using flat panel antennas, digital electronics, and solid-state components.

'Shamlcheh' missile was unveiled in 2011 as a more advanced version of the 'Shahin' missile.

The missile weighs about 700 kg, is 5 meters long, 360 mm in diameter, and has a speed of about 3 Mach.

The flight altitude for the collision of the 'Shalamcheh' missile with flight targets is estimated in the range of 60 to 18,000 meters, which will be achieved at a distance of 40 kilometers.

The warhead of this missile weighs about 70 kg, which shows that if it hits the target, it will destroy it.

A new version of Mersad

During the joint drill of Iran's air defense, which was held in the general area of Semnan in the area of 416,000 square kilometers under the title of "Velayat Sky Defenders-98", the latest version of the Mersad missile system was tested under the name of 'Mersad 16'.


Among the differences between the Mersad 16 system and its previous generations, we can name the tactical or moving of all parts of the system by being installed on a truck, the use of new Iranian radars (Hafez and Najm-804), the use of a launcher or a box launcher, and the use of a new Shalamcheh missile called 'Shalamcheh 2'.

Hafez Radar can detect and track 100 targets simultaneously in three dimensions with a maximum range of about 250 km. It has advanced and up-to-date electronic warfare methods that can detect and intercept various targets such as cruise missiles and drones.

The new 'Shalamcheh 2' missile was also fired during the drill. The range of this new missile has not been specified exactly, but it has been announced in the medium range.

Because the new missile is launched from canister launchers, it will have higher mobility than the Shalamcheh and Shahin missiles.

Attending drills and operational efficiency

Mersad and Mersad 2 Air Defense Systems, which have been in operation since the late 2000s and early 2010s, have been launched in numerous drills against low-radar cross-section targets, including small drones.

The Mersad Air Defense System was successfully tested at the "Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Drill" in January 2015 and destroyed the intended targets.

The farthest target that the Mersad system destroyed in this drill was targeted more than 30 kilometers away.

In the joint air defense drill in the fall of 2018, Hafez radar was used for the Mersad system.

In this drill, the news of adding a new missile to the Mersad system was announced. This missile, which is fired from a launcher with a capacity of up to three missiles, is very similar in appearance to the standard missile, which was built and operated in Iran under the new names of 'Fajr' and 'Mehrab' and by upgrading its capabilities. The name of this missile was later announced as 'Shalamcheh 2'.

On November 8, 2019, a foreign invading UAV was shot down by the Mersad Air Defense System in Bandar Mahshahr. This was just one of the successful tests of Mersad.

By Seyyed Reza Mirtaher


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Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System
Mersad Air Defense System