Iran’s top air defense commander announced on Saturday that the country would launch Bavar (Belief) 373 missile defense system – the Iranian version of the sophisticated S-300 long-range air-defense missile shield – in the next two years.
Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told FNA that bottleneck problems for the construction of Bavar 373 infrastructures have been resolved, adding that development and construction of the highly advanced anti-missile defense system would be accomplished by the end of Iran’s Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015).
“We hope to witness a very good system with higher capabilities than the (Russian) S-300 in our air defense structure by the end of the (Development) Plan”, added the General.
The air defense commander reiterated that “the indigenized system will be more powerful than S-300 missile system”.
Another senior Iranian military commander announced last May that the country would soon unveil the home-made long-range air-defense missile system which is similar to the Russian S-300.
“This system, dubbed as Bavar 373, is being developed in the country and will be officially unveiled soon,” Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army’s Self-Sufficiency Jihad Rear Admiral Farhad Amiri said in May, 2013.
He noted that the Bavar-373 missile defense system has reached the production stage and its subsystems have been already tested.
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.