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Sevom Khordad

Medium-range air defense missile system

Sevom Khordad

The Iranian Sevom Khordad strongly resembles a Russian Buk M2EK

 
 
Country of origin Iran
Entered service 2016
Missile
Range of fire 50 - 105 km
Altitude of fire 25 - 30 km
Number of missiles 3
Mobility
Engine IVECO diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed ~ 65 km/h
Range ~ 500 km

 

   Sevom Khordad, 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 S-300 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 Raad family. 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.

   The second 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.

   The third, 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 the version.

   Each Sevom Khorad TELAR can detect 100 targets at once. It can engage 4 targets simultaneously and guide 2 missiles on each 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 (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 history when 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.

   The Sevom 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 Russian Army. 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.

 

Ehsan Ostadrahimi

   Article by EHSAN OSTADRAHIMI

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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Sevom Khordad

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