2012-04-17 TEHRAN (FNA)
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that Iran has achieved good results in developing and producing the Iranian version of the sophisticated Russian S-300 air defense missile system.
"The production of an alternative (air defense) missile system for S-300 is underway and parts of the work have been done and yielded good results so far," Vahidi told reporters on the sidelines of military parades staged on the occasion of the National Army Day here in Tehran on Tuesday.
Vahidi added that relevant information about the latest developments in the production of the sophisticated missile system will be announced this Iranian year (started on March 20).
In December, a top Iranian Air Defense commander announced that the designing phase of the Iranian version of S-300 air defense missile system has ended and the system would soon be manufactured and delivered to the country's integrated air defense network.
"The design of the system has been accomplished by local elite experts," Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli told reporters.
"The system has been designed by Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Command, Iranian industries and academic centers and will join the country's air defense network in the near future," Esmayeeli noted.
He further said that the missile system, dubbed as Bavar (Belief) 373, is even more powerful and more advanced than the Russian S-300.
"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 to provide Iran with at least five S-300 air-defense systems. But later, Moscow shrugged off doing its end of the bargain under different excuses.
Moscow's continued delays in delivering the defense system drew criticism from the Islamic Republic on several occasions.
And eventually, Russia refused 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.