Russia Supplying S-300 to Iran Ahead of Schedule, May Ink New Arms Deals

Sputnik News — April 26, 2016

Iran has received an ugraded version of the S-300. Click to enlarge.

Iran has received an ugraded version of the S-300. Click to enlarge.

Russia is supplying S-300 air defense systems to Iran ahead of schedule and may conclude new contracts with Tehran on arms deliveries that are not banned under international law, Alexander Fomin, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, said Tuesday.

The $900-million Moscow-Tehran contract to deliver five Russian S-300 systems to Iran was signed in 2007. It was suspended after the adoption of UN Security Council sanctions on Iran in mid-2010.

In April 2015, Russia resumed the talks on S-300 deliveries following a framework agreement on the landmark deal ensuring the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program. The first delivery under the contract took place earlier in April.

“The deliveries of S-300 to Iran are carried out according to schedule, even a bit ahead of it,” Fomin told reporters in Moscow.

Fomin emphasized that the new possible arms contracts with Iran may involve weaponry that is not on the UN ban list, including air defense systems, small arms, and electronic warfare means.

“Everything that is allowed we can deliver,” the official said.


Comment — April 26, 2016

The first stage of the S-300 delivery was completed recently. Claims that the delivery is ahead of schedule mean that the second stage, which was scheduled for completion later this year, could be finalised sooner.
The new arms contracts currently being discussed could involve Russia’s Su-30 air superiority fighter. Tehran and Moscow have reportedly already commenced negotiations on the sale of the Su-30 and if successful they could be delivered before the end of 2016.
A lack of modern air superiority fighters is Iran’s most glaring weakness in defence. Although it has updated its Air Force’s aging F-14 Tomcats they are still more than forty years old. While the Mig-29s Iran acquired from Russia in the 1990s are more than a quarter of a century old. Although both are entirely capable fighters they would probably be completely outclassed by modern Western fighters like the F-22 or the Eurofighter Typhoon.
With the right pilot the Su-30 would be a match for either and would enable Iran to take on any air force in the Middle East.