3rd of Khordad: new Arash for Iran military

The business of power projection
July 6, 2020
Iran’s IRGC holds massive aerial, naval drills off Hormuz Strait
July 28, 2020

3rd of Khordad: new Arash for Iran military


O n the anniversary of the hunting MQ-4C Triton by the 3rd of Khordad system, a video of the IRGC air defense was released, which contained new images and interesting points. One of them was the presence and firing of a TELAR system on a moving ship. Before we get into the details of this unveiling, we need to say a word about this system. The 3rd of Khordad system belongs to the Raad defense family. Which is itself the result of reverse engineering and optimization of the SA-6 system with a look to the Buk air defense system.

The news of the existence of Raad family's defense systems was first announced at a press conference of the IRGC Commander-in-Chief in September 2012, without publishing a picture, and some information was provided about it, including a range of 50 km and an operational altitude of 25-27 km. Shortly afterward, members of the family, namely the Raad-1 system, the Raad-2 system, the Tabas system, the 3rd of Khordad system, and the Alam al-Huda system, were introduced.

The main concept behind the Raad-1, and then Raad-2, is to design a high-mobility defense system based on discovering and tracking targets electro-optically, which is achieved by adding an electro-optical fire control system. This can if properly designed, provide advantages such as more resistance to ESM, and against ARMs, and better performance against stealth aircraft.

The Tabas system is the next member of the Raad family's defense systems, which was unveiled at the IRGC's aerospace exhibition in 2014. The main feature of this system is a large Radome which is because the radar of this system is not a phased array and to increase the coverage of radar beam, its antenna must change the angle.

Tabas was armed with Taer-2A missile like the Raad-2 system but after a while, the missile model changed, and now the system uses Taer-2C missile. The specifications for Tabas so far state that the range is between 50 and 60 km and the operational altitude is 25 to 30 km. The difference between missiles could be one of the reasons for these differences. The Tabas system looks like an inexpensive accomplisher for the 3rd of Khordad system.

Another member of the Raad family's defense system, known as the "Alam al-Huda system," was unveiled in 2014 but there is no official footage of it that has been released yet.

The main feature of this defense system is using the VHF band to detect, intercept, and Fire control. There are some advantages to that. The first advantage is better performance against stealth aircraft because efforts are being made to reduce the radar cross-section in short-wavelength bands, such as the X-band because most defense systems in this band intercept and control fire, Therefore, most stealth planes are detectable for long-wavelength radars.

The other advantage of this wavelength is that it has a better capability to reach distant ranges. Another advantage is the difficulty of disrupting long-wavelength bands. Most airborne jammers are generally working in short-wavelength bands, because of the power and antenna size that needed to afford that.

Of course, wavelengths such as VHF bands are low accuracy for radars. It is not known exactly how the VHF band's inherent inaccuracy was fixed in the Alam-Al-Hoda system to use in the role of fire tracking and control, but the radars may be used in combination with other radars or there is a new missile with an active radar or electro-optic terminal phase guidance


The 3rd of Khordad system is the next member of the Raad family defense systems, which was officially unveiled at the IRGC airspace exhibition in 2014. The most important feature of this system is the use of phased array radar. It was armed with the "B" model of the Taer-2 missile when it was unveiled.

In the new images, it is equipped with three missiles, two of them are of the new generation Taer missile, which was used in the MQ-4C Triton hunt and has a range of 105 km with radar guidance. The third one but has a completely different seeker. Unlike other Iranian intermediate-range missiles, which generally have semi-active radar homing (SARH) guidance, this missile has an electro-optical seeker. There are serious restrictions about using electro-optical or Thermographic seekers in air defense missiles, especially at high mach speed and low altitudes; if the missile's speed exceeds a certain level due to severe drag and heat generation, concentrated in the nose, so the performance of the thermal seeker will be disrupted. So air defensive missiles with thermal infrared imagers generally have speeds below Mach 3. In the case of medium-range missiles such as the Taer and Sayad-2 speeds are more than Mach 4.

To overcome this problem, Iranian designers have taken an initiative, which previously, has been used in an anti-ballistic system (THAAD).


The location of the seeker lens is moved from the nose of the missile to the lower side of cone, the cone is made of transparent material, possibly a type of ceramic, to keep it away from the focal point of thermal stress. Also to remove as much thermal stress as possible from the nose cone. a blunt tip is used instead of a Haack. Although aerodynamically having a Haack is better for supersonic speeds, but this blunt nose allows thermal stress to be removed from around the seeker. Besides, the tip of the missile's nose is made of matte black materials, which appears to be made of composite ablative material. These materials are especially used in the aerospace industry to create thermal shields. Changing the location of the seeker makes more room for larger seekers with a wider aperture.

The use of such a system in THADD is to increase efficiency in kill vehicle against very high altitude targets but in this missile seems that it is designed for more than this purpose. Ballistic missiles, stealth aircraft, and operations under jamming and ESM seem to be the goals of this design.

The third day of Khordad (June) is the day of the liberation of the city Khoramshahr in Persian chronology and is very memorable for many Iranians. Also, in the ancient history of Iran, Khordad is the anniversary of the great arrow shot of Arash. Arash the Archer is an ancient Persian myth that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. An archer who threw an arrow to determine the border of Iran and put his life behind the bow and died after the shot.

It seems that in modern times this myth must change a little; Now Arash can shoot down Triton (the god of the sea) and not just be unharmed, but he will shoot again and again to determine the borders of Iran to the other side of the globe!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *