Baku, Azerbaijan, May 10
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran's army has received the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system, said Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, Fars news agency reported May 10.
The Islamic Republic put on display the first containment of the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system it received from Russia during the country's Army Day celebrations April 17.
The video footage released by Iranian media outlets has shown that the country has received the S-300 missile tubes and radar equipment, without actual missiles. At the time some military experts said that the move is purely promotional and doesn't really make much sense.
Now the country's defense minister says that, the "strategic missile system was handed over to the country's Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base."
Iran and Russia have had ups and downs over the S-300 system deal which dates back to 2007. Iran filed a complaint against Russia at the International Court of Arbitration in 2010 as Moscow suspended the delivery of the system under the $800 million-deal due to the international sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.
However, with the scrapping of the international sanctions as part of a nuclear deal, which went into force Jan. 16, Iranian officials became confident that they would receive the missile system soon.
Dehghan, who was visiting the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base said that Iran's home-made version of S-300 missile defense system, called Bavar 373 will be produced till March 2017.
The system which is capable of tracking various targets including ballistic and cruise missiles as well as drones and fighter planes will be mass-produced during the current Iranian year, Dehghan said.
He further said that the long-range air defense system is able to track multiple targets simultaneously.
Some military experts believe that statements regarding the capabilities of Bavar 373 are exaggerated and are not reflecting the reality. Iran raised the issue of Bavar 373 during its disputes with Russia over the S-300 missile defense system.
Iranian security officials claim that 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.