TEHRAN – Iran may have been languishing behind the curve when it comes to advanced military cyber capabilities, despite its sponsorship of attacks in the non-military sphere, but the country is determined to change that quickly. There is a recognition in Teheran that its military forces are vulnerable to “Great Satan’s” more advanced capabilities.
Last month, the US launched an offensive cyber strike on Iran in order to disable the computer systems used to control rocket and missile launches. This was done instead of a conventional missile strike. It was heavily publicized. It sent a message to the world. For the US to compromise Iran’s core command and control systems represented a material change to the battlefield dynamics.
This weekend, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami unveiled the Sepehr 110, a tactical battlefield communications unit, developed in Iran, designed to withstand electronic warfare compromises instigated by the US to maintain the military’s command and control infrastructure.
Developed with the support of the Iranian Broadcasting Network, Salami claimed that the new unit should be seen to “break the monopoly of the great powers in the field of advanced communications technologies.”
Time will tell whether this is a genuine achievement or wishful thinking. The objective is to secure Teheran’s command and control networks from offensive US cyber attacks. According to Iranian media reports, the system can operate in all relevant environments, on land, sea, and air, transmitting both voice and data, impervious to penetration, interference, and attack.
Salami claimed that “developments in the field of communications have made the system of command and control very accurate, delivering the right information at the right time – ultimately integrating all battlefield capabilities.” He added that this puts Iran “at the forefront in the field of ICT and command and control – we are not exaggerating our leadership in this area.”