The Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) used the Iran-made short-range and mid-altitude ‘Third of Khordad’ missile defense shield to bring down the US spy drone over the country’s Southern coasts on Thursday.
A US-made Global Hawk spy drone was shot down by the IRGC on the Southern coasts of Iran in Hormozgan province today, using its powerful air defense system named Third of Khordad.
The IRGC announced in a statement early Thursday that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran’s airspace.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather.
Meantime, a US official said a US Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile.
The IRGC Aerospace Force unveiled the Third of Khordad air defense system with the capability to trace four targets and destroy them with eight missiles all at once in 2014.
The Third of Khordad air defense system which was completely designed and manufactured by Iranian experts was unveiled during the Supreme Leader’s tour of the IRGC’s Aerospace Exhibition, where state-of-the-art equipment and hardware were showcased.
The Third of Khordad air defense system was manufactured in 18 months and can trace all types of flying targets within a range of 75 kilometers.
The Third of Khordad air defense system can trace and target fighter jets, bombers and cruise missiles up to 27,000 meters (81,000ft) high. All its components have been placed in a vehicle and its radar, tracing and missile-launching systems have been improved.
An IRGC Aerospace Force commander said in 2014 that the defense system can be compared to the sophisticated S-300 long-range air-defense missile shield, adding that its range will be increased to 100km and then 200km in future.
IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami confirmed downing of a US spy drone on the Southern coasts of Iran on Thursday, stressing that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away.
“This morning, the IRGC Air Force bravely downed an enemy spy drone which had crossed our borders and was violating our national security,” General Salami said, addressing a congress in the Western province of Kurdistan on Thursday.
He added that the incident sent “a clear message” to the US and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression.
“Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and national interests,” General Salami said.
“We declare that we do not want war with any country but we are fully ready for war and the today incident was a clear instance of this precise message,” he underscored.
Source: Fars news agency