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News number: 9104255191

15:16 | 2012-08-25

Defence

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Iran to Boost Air-Defense Power with New Long-Range System Soon

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian defense ministry is due to equip the country's Armed Forces with a new long-range air-defense system by the next Iranian year (starting on March 21, 2013), a senior Iranian military official announced on Saturday.



Speaking to FNA on Saturday, Deputy Defense Minister for Industrial and Research Mohammad Eslami said the new long-range air-defense system can cover a major part of the S-300 mission.

After Russia refrained from delivering the highly sophisticated S-300 missile system to Iran, the latter decided to develop a home-made version of the air defense system. Earlier this year, Iranian officials announced that they have already completed the planning and study phase for manufacturing the system.

Eslami said the new long-range air-defense system will provide a full air-defense cover for Iran by the time the Iranian version of S-300 starts operation.

Eslami stated that development of the Iranian version of the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile system is underway in Iran and has had an "eye-catching progress", adding that the system is expected to be complete soon.

In November 2011, Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told reporters that the designing phase of the Iranian version of S-300 system has ended and the system will soon be delivered to the country's integrated air defense network.

He further said that the missile system, dubbed as Bavar (Belief) 373, is even more powerful and more advanced than the Russian S-300.

"With this powerful system in our hand, we would not think of S-300 anymore," Esmayeeli stated.

"Bavar 373 system is an important and completely indigenous achievement that can be a powerful rival for S-300," the commander reiterated.

Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia was required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 air-defense systems. However, Moscow's continued delays in delivering the defense system drew criticism from the Islamic Republic on several occasions.

Russia has been refusing to deliver the system to Iran under the pretext that the system is covered by the fourth round of UN Security Council resolutions against Iran.

Then-President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree prohibiting the sale of Russian weapons, including S-300s, to Iran in 2010 after the United Nations imposed sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Iran dismissed Russia's justification that the ban on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran was in line with the (US-engineered) UN Security Council Resolution 1929, and stated that this is an air defense system which is not included in Resolution 1929.

Iran then sued Russia for breach of the contract.