Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 23
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran will receive S-300 missile systems from Russia this year, the Islamic Republic's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said.
The Russian side has promised to supply Iran with the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in 2015, Dehghan said, Iran's state TV reported Aug. 23.
While responding to a question about signing a new contract with Russia on the issue the minister said that the previous contract will be updated.
"There is no new contract but we added an addendum to the existing contract."
"Some changes were made to the radar and navigation systems of S-300 which has increased the costs and we have to pay these additional costs," Dehghan said.
Russian state arms producer Almaz-Antey in June said it would supply Iran with a modernized version of the S-300, among the world's most capable air defense systems, once a commercial agreement was reached.
Earlier Iranian media outlets quoted Dehghan as saying Iran will sign a contract with Russia this week to buy four S-300 missile systems.
Russia and Iran concluded a contract in 2007 for the supply of S-300 systems.
But, after the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which provided for the imposition of sanctions on Iran, the realization of the contract was suspended.
Iran, in response, filed a claim against Russia at the International Court of Arbitration. Currently, the parties are negotiating on the withdrawal of this lawsuit.
In April this year, Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a decree removing the ban on the supply of these systems to Iran.
Iran's defense minister also commented on the fate of Barvar 373 long-range air defense system or the domestic version of the S-300, saying the Islamic Republic will produce that.
The two systems are completely different, however their mission is same, Dehghan said.
The Islamic Republic needs both Bavar 373 and S-300 missile systems to cover its air defense needs, he underlined.
The Bavar 373 system would be tested by March 2016. Iranian security officials say, Bavar 373 is better than the Russian S-300, as it is able to track over 100 targets, just like the Russian system but with a higher targeting capability.
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