The home-grown version of the Russian S-300 missile defense system will be unveiled soon, a senior military commander announced on Tuesday.
“The indigenized version of the S-300 missile defense system (which is called Bavar 373 in Iran) is in the final stages of completion and will be unveiled,” Lieutenant Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base for Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Shamkhani told reporters today.
He noted that after Russia refrained from delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran under the pretext of sanctions, domestic experts began designing and building its Iranian version.
“The S-300 missile defense system comprises different parts and our experts have now made good progress for completing it,” Shamkhani said, adding, “God willingly, this missile system will be unveiled in the second military parades which will be held in future.”
Yet, he did not explain whether he meant the annual September 22 parades exclusively or not. Each year Iran stages two military parades, one on the Army Day in Spring and another one on the last day of Summer which marks the start of the Sacred Defense Week, commemorating Iranians’ sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war in the 1980s.
Last month, senior Iranian military officials announced that their home-grown version of the Russian S-300 missile defense system, called Bavar (Belief)-373, has already been put into test-run operation and has once shot at a target successfully.
Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told the Iranian state-run TV that “Bavar-373 has fired a first successful shot”.
“We believe that ‘Bavar’ and ‘3rd of Khordad’ missile shields are better than some other long-range missile defense systems of the country,” he added.
After Russia violated the terms of its contract with Iran on the delivery of the S-300 long-range missile defense system more than two years ago, the Iranian military said it would design and build its own version of the Russian system called Bavar (Belief)-373.
Senior military officials in Tehran announced a few months ago that the Iranian missile shield enjoys even better features than the Russian version, as it has better agility, mobility and precision capabilities and can intercept all targets in low, mid and high altitudes.
General Esmayeeli had stated in February that the Iranian missile system would have “higher capabilities than the (Russian) S-300″ once it starts operation, adding that “the indigenized system will be more powerful than S-300 missile system”.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army’s Self-Sufficiency Jihad Rear Admiral Farhad Amiri said in May, 2013 that Bavar-373 missile defense system had reached the production stage and its subsystems had been tested successfully.
In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800mln to buy five Russian S-300 missile defense systems.
But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was unilaterally expanding on sanctions against Iran imposed by the UN Security Council.
Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva, which is currently pending review.
Moscow has struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported in December, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran.
The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.
The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.
The Russian version of the missile shield can trace around 100 flying targets simultaneously and destroy a part of them, while the Iranian version is said to be enjoying a higher targeting capability among its other optimized features.
Iran has also optimized the S-200 missile defense system. Mobility and a narrower ready-for-operation time is among the features of the optimized version.