Iran Says Radar Can Detect Small Unmanned Drones

TEHRAN, Iran-- A senior military commander says Iran's air defense units have been equipped with advanced radars capable of detecting unmanned drones.

Gen. Farzad Esmaeili says Iran in the past was unable to detect small drones but can now trace and shoot them down over its airspace. He made the comment in an interview with the official IRNA news agency Saturday.

Esmaeili is commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbia Air Defense Headquarters.

Iran has a locally made radar system with a range of some 1,800 miles.

In January, Iran claimed to have shot down two U.S. pilotless spy planes that had violated its airspace, though the U.S. military said it had no record of that.

Iran restructured its military in 2009 in an effort to improve its air defenses.