Falaq: The New Iranian Radar System

After Khordad-15,  the Iranian air defences have developed a new radar system called the “Falaq”. It is based on the Russian Gamma-DE phased array radar system and is expected to complement the existing air defence systems, such as the S-300. 

It can detect  a variety of targets including  cruise missiles, stealth planes, drone systems and ballistic missiles over a range of 400 kilometres. While the main characteristics of Falaq are yet to be made public, the characteristics of the Russian Gamma-DE radar gives a fair idea of the capabilities of the Falaq system.

Russian Gamma-DE System

Main characteristics

Waveband                                              decimetric (UHF)


range, km:                                              10 – 400

elevation, deg                                         -2…+60 

azimuth, deg                                           360

altitude, km                                             120

Target detection range:

1 m2 RCS target                                     400

0.1 m2 RCS target                                  240

Target positioning accuracy:

range, m                                                 60 – 100 

azimuth, ang.min                                    10 – 11

elevation, ang.min                                  15 – 18

Track capacity                                      200

Clutter rejection, dB                                50

Scan period/information renewal rate, s  10/5

Continuous operation time, h                  72

Deployment time, min:

trailer-based                                           20

truck-based                                            5

The Falaq has a mobile radar and a vehicle housing a control room, and though Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, it is not yet clear how effective the radar will prove to be in carrying out the surveillance over the ranges claimed by the Iranian Air Defence forces.

It has also been reported that the radar unveiled was in fact an overhauled version of a system that had been out of service for a long time while the Iranian State TV claims that “The (Falaq) system was developed in order to counter sanctions restricting access to spare parts of a previously foreign-developed system,” 

With continued tension, it will be interesting to keep a watch over new developments in the region.

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