Country of origin
Range of fire
50 - 105 km
Altitude of fire
25 - 30 km
Number of missiles
Maximum road speed
~ 65 km/h
~ 500 km
also known as 3rd Khordad, is the most advanced and powerful Iranian medium-range air defense
missile system. It was officially displayed in 2016. It uses a 6x6
wheeled chassis, based on IVECO commercial truck, though with many design
changes. This air defense system contains an active phased array
radar on top in the front part and three missiles behind it. It is
capable of reaching targets within range of up to 105 km and at
an altitude of up to 30 km altitude. At least 3 battalions of Sevom
Khordad are active.
The idea of
developing such a system was introduced between the years
2005 and 2010. At the time Iranians were planning to buy Russian air defense systems. The
outcome was ordering in 2007 the Russian
long-range air defense system to be delivered, but that didn’t
happen. The UN Security Council adopted a
resolution against Iran. This resolution excluded delivering S-300 to Iran but
was claimed as a reason from Russians not to deliver it. So Iran
responded by developing indigenous missile defense systems. The
Iranian Army Air Defense Forces began the development of their own
version of the S-300, which was called “Bavar 373”. The Islamic
Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) had speeded up development of new medium-range air defense systems which led to
the creation of the
Most likely that these medium-range air defense systems were
developed with Russian assistance.
The Raad (Thunder) family contains 3 different systems
which came into service one after another.
The original Raad air defense missile system was officially displayed in 2012.
It was a medium-range
system of new design. It uses two electro-optical systems to provide
both detection and engagement coverage. Each launcher vehicle
carrier 3 missiles, plus and additional passive radar.
member of the family was
Tabas. Its name refers to the desert of Tabas incident in 1980.
This improved air defense missile system was officially displayed in 2014. Tabas is equipped with a mechanical radar and
also carries 3 missiles. It can reach targets at a maximum range of
up to 75 km.
so far the most advanced member of Raad family is
the Sevom Khordad. (Sevom - Third, Khordad - third month of
Iranian calendar). The name "Sevom Khordad" refers
to the 3rd day of 3rd month of the Iranian calendar, which coincides with the
liberation of the city of Khorramshahr during Iran–Iraq War. At the
time this was a very important event. The Sevom Khordad uses the same
6x6 wheeled chassis as Raad
and Tabas systems. The new system is much more advanced than the
Tabas and uses an active X-band phased array engagement radar with 1
700 elements. The Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar (TELAR)
uses the same Taer-2 missiles. These have a range of 50 to 105 km
and can reach targets at an altitude from 25 to 30 km depending on
Khorad TELAR can detect 100 targets at once. It can engage 4 targets
simultaneously and guide 2 missiles on each target.
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 (C2) unit, based on IVECO truck chassis. The
C2 unit provides communication between Sevom Khordad batteries.
Furthermore, the C2 unit can connect other air defense systems of the Raad family, including Raad and Tabas, into a single air defense
network. This allows to cover large area and targets can be engaged
with a wide range of missiles from the cheapest Taer-1 missiles to
the most capable Taer-2s. This adds the capability of facing different
types of threats with different types of interceptors.
In case of heavy jamming when even the X-band engagement radar can’t handle its duty, the
C2 unit can provide an additional data link, connecting the system
to electro-optical engagement systems of Raad batteries, in order to
guide missiles toward targets.
On 19th June 2019, an American RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial
vehicle was shot down by the Sevom Khordad system over Strait of Hormuz. Although Iranians
had targeted aerial targets before, but it was the first time in
an Iranian-made air defense system could shot down a target.
Updating the system is still in progress and it is planned to
be equipped with 200 km range missiles before 2021, making it to be a
medium- and long-range air defense system.
Khordad strongly resembles a Russian
Buk M2EK air defense missile
system. The Buk M2EK is an export version of the Buk M2, based on a Belarusian
MZKT-6922 special wheeled
chassis with 6x6 configuration. Certain systems of the Buk M2EK are
downgraded comparing with the original Buk M2, which was designed for the
The Iranian Sevom Khordad has similar layout, but uses 3 missiles instead of 4 on the Buk
M2EK. Otherwise, these two air defense systems are extremely similar.
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