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Iran missile system tested, rhetoric sharpened on eve of NATO summit

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State TV showcases Mersad system

Iranian state television on Thursday showed a single Shahin missile being launched at an indeterminate target from a launch rack that normally carries three of the missiles. Officials said it was part of the Mersad (“Ambush” in Farsi) system.

“Mersad is completely built by Iranian experts,” PressTV correspondent Arash Khalatbari reported. “Experts here said that it is much more advanced than similar missiles in the same class – the Western missile systems in the same class.”

Previous phases of the drills were devoted to electronic warfare, where again Iran had demonstrated uncommon expertise, the correspondent said. “Managing electromagnetic waves, and hearing without being heard, and seeing without being seen, and destroying without being destroyed – that’s what they [the experts] said about it,” he reported.

Earlier PressTV reports of the exercises noted that spotters had been posted along border areas, and that six mock intrusions by enemy aircraft had been intercepted by scrambled Iranian jets.

One news story said the Iranian military had found “creative ways to make up for the shortcomings of radar systems.” Video images showed an array of basic radar antennae, and men in foxholes with binoculars, sometimes disguised with reeds like duck blinds, speaking on what appeared to be standard military radio sets.

“In the first stage, the soldier on post spots the plane,” the reporter announced. “In the second stage he communicates the location of the plane to the command post. And in the last stage, the plane is forced to land if it ignores the warnings.”

PressTV also reported that a “new kind of walkie-talkie” had been tested, along with an upgraded “ground-to-air shoulder-launched defensive missile.”

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