Known as the 3rd Khordad, Sevom Khordad is considered Iran’s most advanced and powerful medium-range air defense missile system, first unveiled on 11 May 2014.
Although it is not equal in military force and weapons compared to the US, Tehran knows how to fill the gap with tactics and strategic location. Iran’s raids on US military bases in Iraq show that Iran has developed a number of new ballistic missiles with remarkable accuracy. Iran’s air defense systems are also remarkable. According to reports, a US Air Force Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance drone was shot down by Sevom Khordad, a new mobile Iranian medium-range air defense missile system.
Known as the 3rd Khordad, Sevom Khordad is considered Iran’s most advanced and powerful medium-range air defense missile system, first unveiled on 11 May 2014. It is quite similar to the Russian Buk-M2 in terms of design and features. The air defense system is built on a 6×6 wheeled chassis for increased maneuverability. The fundamental difference from the Russian system is that Iran’s Sevom Khordad uses 3 missiles instead of 4 on the Buk M2EK. Otherwise, these two air defense systems are extremely similar.
Sevom Khordad is the most advanced member of the Raad family. Each Sevom Khordad Transporter erector launcher can carry 3 Taer-2B missiles which have range of 50–105 km and can operate at altitudes of 25–30 km. The Sevom Khordad utilizes an X-band Active Phased array engagement radar, each vehilce can simultaneously detect 100 targets, engage 4 and guide 2 missiles on a target.
A battery contains 1 TELAR and 2 TEL vehicles. So a single battery has 9 ready-to-fire missiles. A battalion has 4 batteries with 4 TELARs and 8 TELs and can engage 16 targets simultaneously. Each battalion additionally includes a Bashir S-band 3D phased array surveillance radar which has a detection range of 350 km. The battalion also has a command and control unit, based on IVECO truck chassis. It can also provide additional Data link in case of Radar jamming. The Sevom Khordad is the longest ranged variant of the Raad system, and reportedly planned to be equipped with 200 km range missiles. The successful testing of the missile system against a high end American drone is likely to have significant consequences for the balance of power in the Middle East – with Iran’s adversaries likely to be more wary about the risks of engaging the country’s indigenous defence systems. Iran itself may well speed up development of new long range missile platforms domestically – and the incident may also affect the military’s decision making regarding the need to import more sophisticated foreign weapons systems such as the Russian S-400 which is reportedly currently under consideration.