With tensions high between Tehran and Washington, the head of Iran’s Army Air Defense Force says detecting modern American aircraft “just part of our capabilities”
Iran is capable of detecting American stealth aircraft, the Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Defense Force Alireza Sabahi Fard claimed on Monday.
“Today, Iran is able to detect various types of stealth aircraft and this is just a part of our capabilities,” Fard was quoted by Iran’s Mehr News Agency as saying. “Today we are self-sufficient in developing radar systems and are able to detect different modern American aircraft.”
“Our defense power has made enemies aware that if they engage in a conflict with us, they will suffer severe damages,” he added.
Fard, who previously served as commander of the Iranian Army’s Khatam ol-Anbiya Air Defense Base, replaced Brig.-Gen Farzad Ismaili after, according to a report in the Kuwaiti paper Al-Jarida, was he removed from his position after Israeli F-35i Adir jets penetrated into Iranian airspace in March 2018 and flew over sensitive bases across the country undetected.
The Israeli Air Force currently has 16 F-35i Adir aircraft and is expected to receive a total of 50 planes to make two full squadrons by 2024.
The Israeli F-35i Adirs have taken part in several operations in the region over the past two years, making the Jewish State the first country to use the stealth fighter in a combat role in the region.
In late April the IAF opened a second squadron of F-35i stealth fighter jets called “Defenders of the Negev” with the first planes expected to arrive at the beginning of next year.
The stealth jets have an extremely low radar signature allowing the jet to operate undetected deep inside enemy territory as well as evade advanced missile defense systems like the S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems which have been deployed in countries such as Syria and Iran.
With close air-support capabilities and a massive array of sensors, pilots of the stealth jet have unparalleled access to information while in the air.
In early July Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Tehran should remember that Israel’s air force can strike anywhere in the Middle East with the stealth fighters.
“Iran has threatened recently to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said in a video clip he posted, standing in front of an Israeli F-35i “Adir” stealth fighter jet. “It is worthwhile for them to remember that these plans can reach everywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria.”
Iran and Israel’s comments come against the backdrop of increased tension between Iran and the US, and as the Islamic Republic is openly declaring that it is violating the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed that he will never allow Iran to develop the capability to make a nuclear bomb and that Israel will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria which would allow it to attack the Jewish State.
Hundreds of airstrikes on IRGC and Hezbollah targets in war-torn Syria have been blamed on Israel.