Iran’s air defence base has in the last six months sent two stern warnings to US spy aircraft which approached Iranian airspace, a defence official said on Sunday.
“We warned a U2 reconnaissance aircraft on March 21 and a US drone on August 26,” Iran’s Arabic language TV station al-Alam’s website quoted the country’s Chief of Air Defence Farzad Esmaili as saying. He did not mention the location.
Esmaili said “we do not allow such rabid aircraft to enter our territory and if necessary, we will not hesitate to destroy them”.
Iran has repeatedly announced such activities over the past years to demonstrate the capabilities of the country’s armed forces.
Meanwhile, Iran has tested its home-grown air defence system, designed to match the Russian S-300, state broadcaster IRIB reported.
“The system is made completely in Iran and some of its parts are different from the S-300. All of its sub-systems have been completed and its missile tests have been conducted,” Xinhua news agency quoted Esmaili as saying.
“In parallel with the deployment of the S-300, work on Bavar-373 system is underway,” he added.
Bavar (which means “belief”) is Tehran’s first long-range missile defence system, and is set to be operational by March 2018, he added.
Iran began manufacturing Bavar-373 in 2010 after the purchase of the S-300 from Russia was suspended due to international sanctions.
He said he hoped “the combat capabilities of Iran’s ballistic and cruise missiles” would increase in the next four years.