Commander of the Iranian Army Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi announced that the unidentified drone which flew over the Iranian Southern port city of Mahshar on Friday was shot down by indigenized Mersad missile shield of the Army Air Defense Force, noting that the origin and goal of the aircraft is yet unknown.
“On Friday morning, a drone which was trying to hide itself from the radars by flying at low altitude, was traced and targeted. We cannot yet certainly identify the origin and main target of this drone as long as we have not retrieved parts of the drone to make our graphs and date complete, but the drone was certainly flying at low altitude and was targeted by the domestically-made Mersad system,” General Mousavi told reporters on Saturday.
He also explained that the downed drone was intercepted and destroyed despite its low radar cross-section (RCS), noting that the incident displayed one of the capabilities of Mersad missile system.
“Any other aggressor in any size will naturally be hit and destroyed as well,” General Mousavi said.
Iran announced in May 2014 the successful test-firing of the country’s new air defense system, Mersad, with a capability of destroying different modern fighter jets and drones.
“Mersad is a mid-altitude missile defense system which enjoys more and better capabilities in intercepting targets, electronic warfare and also its radar covers a wider and farther areas compared with its foreign rivals and it has been built completely by Iranian experts,” former Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said at the time.
The Air Defense Force of the Iranian Army shot down the unidentified drone over Bandar-e Mahshahr in the Persian Gulf, where the country’s major petrochemical plants are located, early on Friday morning.
Mersad (‘Ambush’) is an Iranian low to mid-range air defense system developed in 2010. It fires Shahin (Falcon) missiles which are reverse engineered, domestically upgraded versions of the American MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missiles. It uses a series of domestically produced radars and electronic devices.