After the end of the Iraqi-imposed war of the 1980s on Iran, Tehran allocated substantial resources to its defense industry to reduce dependence on foreign arms and spare parts.
The Islamic Republic of Iran boasts an impressive portfolio including small arms, ammunition, all domain missiles and rockets, light helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), artillery systems, light armored vehicles, midget submarines, small patrol boats and crafts, naval mines and torpedoes, and tactical communication systems.
In addition to designing new weapons, the Iranian defense industry maintains and retrofits its aging older-generation platforms.
Iranian military experts and engineers have in recent years made remarkable breakthroughs in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.
In February 2018, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile program.
Stating that enemies must know that Iran is determined to continue the ongoing trend of developing its military defense achievements, Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi said on Aug 22, 2022, that Iran is stronger than ever and its enemies are weaker than ever now.
He further warned that the arrogant powers will be forced out of the region and the region will return to the independent and freedom-seeking nations.
On Aug 19, 2020, in a message on the occasion of Defense Industry Day, Iran’s Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri said that the defense industry strongly supports the armed forces to defend the independence and territorial integrity of the country.
Stating that the defense industry is a strong supporter of the armed forces in defending the independence and territorial integrity of the country and protecting the achievements, values, and ideals of the Islamic Revolution and Establishment, Bagheri said,” The country’s defense industry has taken great strides towards self-reliance and self-sufficiency through the diligent and continuous efforts of specialized and expert forces.”
“So that the country’s defense industry in manufacturing and production of advanced and modern military products such as fighter jets, drones, ballistic and precision missiles, radars, satellites, submarines, helicopters, tanks, and other defense needs have become an inspiring model for the prosperity of other production sectors, especially in the field of economy and industry,” he added.
On Aug 16, 2020, then Iranian Minister of Defense Brigadier General Hatami said that the defense industry is the strategic depth of the country and the science and technology field is the support for the defense industry of the country.”
Any sanctions cannot dissuade Iran to strengthen its defense power and capability, he underlined.
Iranian Ministry of Defense has established very close relationships and interactions with knowledge-based companies, academic centers, universities, and private sector firms, he said, adding, “Knowledge-based companies and academic centers have a great share in defense industry achievements greatly.”
Some of Iranian defense industry achievements in recent years
On August 22, 2022, for the first time, the 2,000-pound (925kg) MK-84 bomb (Yasin Bomb 400) was displayed which is winged and equipped with a pinpoint accuracy targeting kit, similar to the Yassin 90 bomb previously used by Army and IRGC fighter jets to hit critical targets. The advantage of this bomb is its large volume of explosives, leading to greater destruction.
The new strike drone with pinpoint accuracy is a cruise UAV called Ababil. The military aircraft is equipped with an optical seeker and a warhead capable of catching different targets. The cruise drone’s detection system can point at a target and then lock on it, permitting the weapon to fire the ground targets with pinpoint precision.
Earlier, during the unveiling of Iran’s Army 313 drone base, a cruise drone entitled Heidar had been unveiled by the army’s ground force for the first time.
The system, named after Lt General Qassem Soleimani, is used for the defense of a vessel against aerial targets at low altitudes. The point defense weapon is equipped with two missiles with heat seekers and a Gatling cannon. The missiles of this system are equipped with thermal search engines that thermally pursue the target, and probing the targets is conducted in the form of radar and tracking electro-optics, which helps to further stability of the system against electronic warfare. This product is a point defense system for the protection of vessels.
The laser weapon system (Zoheir weapon system) is another system unveiled on August 22, 2022, which is equipped with a video tracker to disrupt the performance of image sensors installed on flying objects such as drones, cruise missiles, and microprocessors, and is capable of countering air conductors using high-power lasers.
On Nov 7, 2022, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force successfully test-launched a domestically-build space launch vehicle called Ghaem-100, which uses a solid-propellant engine and can carry satellites weighing 80 kg into an orbit of 500 kilometers away from the Earth. The new SLV is expected to be used in launching another space achievement soon.
Also, the Bavar-373 missile defense system was unveiled in the presence of Iran’s Minister of Defense, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, and the commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force, Alireza Sabahi Fard.
The Bavar-373 missile defense system can detect stationary targets at a range of 450 km and strike them within a range of 300 km. The upgraded system has been equipped with a new missile called Sayad B-4, which enjoys a solid-propellant engine and has been tested for the first time. The recent unveilings of military achievements grabbed global attention as Iran has not been announcing new military achievements for some time.
On August 20, 2020, the Iranian Defense Ministry unveiled the production line of the ‘Owj’ jet engine for Kosar fighter jets and a 4th-generation turbojet engine, which is lightweight on the occasion of National Defense Industry Day.
Reported by Amin Mohammadzadegan Khoyi