Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli announced that the home-made version of the sophisticated Russian S-300 missile defense system, dubbed as Bavar (Belief) 373, will be launched by the next Iranian year (to start on March 21, 2018), Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“Bavar 373 will be tested by the end of this year and will join the country's integrated defense system by the next year,” General Esmayeeli told reporters in Tehran.
He also said that Iran has deployed the Russian S-300 missile defense shield and is using the system.
Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami announced in February that Iran is forcefully working on Bavar (Belief) 373.
“Steady work efforts are being made on Bavar 373 missile system and a number of tests have been carried out on this system, and these tests will continue until the date of delivery,” General Hatami said.
Asked if the Iranian air defense shield has been tested against incoming ballistic missiles, the Deputy Minister said all defensive projects, including development of this missile system are moving ahead in accordance to their approved plans.
Iran designed and developed its own version of the S-300 missile shield after the Russians shrugged off delivery of their advanced missile defense system to Iran on the pretext of the UN Security Council sanctions.
Iran claims its version has superior features over the original Russian model as it enjoys increased mobility, agility and reduced launch-preparation time.
Iranian Commanders had earlier said that Bavar 373 is similar to its original Russian model and traces and intercepts high-altitude targets.
After the removal of sanctions, Russia delivered S-300 air defense systems to Iran under the existing contract.
In relevant remarks last August, General Esmayeeli said that “the radar and missile defense system, Bavar-373, is a powerful and fully indigenous supplement for the S-300 defense system which will be put into operation soon”.
“The S-300 and Bavar-373 systems will be highly lethal for the enemy,” he added.
Noting that Iran is also building two other defense systems named Talash 2 and Talash 3, Esmayeeli said that the country no more needs the Russian-made S-400 missile shield.