Iran developing its missile defense system based on Russia's S-300
NICOSIA — Iran plans to deploy its first ballistic missile defense system in 2016.
Officials said Iran would accelerate development of its Bavar air and missile defense system. They said Bavar, deemed an Iranian variant of Russia's S-300PMU1, would be ready for deployment over the next two years.
"We hope to witness a very good system with higher capabilities than the S-300 in our air defense structure by the end of the [research and development] program," Iranian Brig. Gen. Farzad Ismaili said.
Ismaili, commander of Iran's Khatam Anbia air defense base, said the difficulties in developing Bavar have been overcome. The brigadier said Bavar would constitute what he termed an advanced system to intercept missiles.
"The indigenous system will be more powerful than S-300 missile system," Ismaili, who did not elaborate, said.
Over the last two years, officials have pledged to unveil Bavar. Ismaili had asserted that Bavar would be ready as early as 2011, only to revise his deadline.
Bavar was highlighted after Russia canceled its S-300 program for Iran in 2010. The new system was said to have been designed as an alternative to the S-300, but officials said Bavar did not contain the interception range of the Russian air defense battery. At times, Bavar was identified as the S-200.
"This system, dubbed as Bavar 373, is being developed in the country and will be officially unveiled soon," Iranian Navy Rear Adm. Farhad Amiri, a senior weapons development officer, said in May 2013