Iran’s Air Defense Force Displays Indigenous Radar System Capable to Detect Stealth Aircraft

On Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, during the annual military parade in Tehran that marks the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Iran displayed a new indigenous passive phased array radar system for detecting stealth targets and cruise missiles.

According to Iran’s FARS News Agency, the radar systems was developed by the experts of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base in order to detect fast moving targes at any altitude and speed.

The tactical radar system has been dubbed “Silent Radar System” because it acts passively: it does not emit any radar wave and can’t be detected by the enemy systems.

Furthermore, it can be moved quite easily and can be installed in a short time.

Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said “The radar is capable of detecting stealth (radar-evading) targets and cruise missiles and enjoys a high movement and mobility capabilities and acts in different ranges,” FARS reported.

Actually, this is not the first time Iran announces a new radar system capable to detect radar-evading planes, cruise and ballistic missiles: in May 2012, the IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced a 1,100 km range radar system, called Gahdir, designed and built to identify aerial targets, stealth planes and low-altitude satellites.

Still, at least according to what the U.S. Air Force has recently disclosed, in March 2013, Iranian radars were unable to detect F-22 Raptors flying a few miles off their coastline: one the U.S. stealth fighters intercepted two F-4 Phantoms without them noticing it until the American fighter jock radioed: “you really ought to go home!”

In December 2011, Tehran announced that the country had installed advanced radars capable of detecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): according to what Iran claimed, they could detect, track and shoot down any drone violating their airspace.

Anyway, in December 2011, Iran somehow managed to capture an RQ-170 Sentinel and later they proved to have put their hands on some smaller ScanEagle UAVs.

Top Image: Photo File of Iranian Radar Unit (credit PressTV)

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Detecting Stealth Aircrafts is not as hard as you people think, VHF radars have proven effective against stealth targets as their long wave length overwhelms special shapes of these aircrafts and since long iran is in position of both domestically made and imported VHF radars one most important of which is NEBU SVU radar

    read this about detection of stealth aircrafts:

    following is the nebu radar in iran, and dont easily buy anything from USAF, that episod definately took place but nothing like what USAF “Supermanly” describes

    • ” that episod definately took place but nothing like what USAF “Supermanly” describes”

      LOL. Really? And you know this how? The uber-reliable Fars news agency?

  2. Project Shadowchaser (not the movie) was a passive radar system that used radio signals from everything from cell phones to satellites and even space noise to track air craft. It did so by tracking the ‘shadow’ the air craft made when it fly between the radio source and the receiver. At the time the computing power needed to run the system was the big draw back with it. But now as computing power has jumped so much such systems will be come more and more common place. I have heard that maybe stealth air craft would show up even better on such systems than non- stealth air craft because stealth air craft would block and absorb even more of the background single making it stand out even more. All the stealth tech will be out dated and useless in a few more years.

    • The usual nomenclature for a radar system like what you describe would be “bistatic” or “multistatic” radar, not “passive” radar. And even if such early warning systems like bistatic radar or LVHF radar (as mentioned in another comment) are more successful at detecting and tracking LO aircraft, that is merely just the beginning of the kill chain. LO is not “out dated and useless” until after whatever threat we are using it against can complete an intercept against the LO aircraft, and even then that only serves to put the threat back into a less-than-completely-one-sided situation. That will be decades from now at a minimum.

  3. And if you bozos believe the story of F-22s flying so close to the Iranian coastline taunting F-4 pilots, I have some super flashy condos on Mars I can sell you for pocket change. Don’t believe this propaganda. Stories like these are written by frustrated right wing nut jobs in an attempt to make other countries look bad.

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