Bavar 373: Final Operational Tests in May

News Brief — March 5, 2017

Iran's Bavar 373 unveiled in August 2016. Click to enlarge

Iran’s Bavar 373 unveiled in August 2016. Click to enlarge

Iran has announced that the final operational tests for its Bavar 373 air defence system will begin in May.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan told reporters on Sunday that the first three of five operational tests had already been successfully completed.
The Bavar 373 is an indigenously developed long-range air defence system that Iran began working on after delays in the delivery of Russia’s S-300 air defence system. Although problems with the S-300 deal have been resolved and the system has been delivered, Iran continued to work on developing the Bavar 373, claiming that it was more advanced than the Russian system.
According to Fars News, the final operational tests in May will involve the interception of incoming ballistic and cruise missiles. If completed successfully, Iran will then embark on the mass production of the system.
Hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missile strikes were fired in the opening phase of Western military campaigns in Libya and Iraq. They’ve also been used by Western forces in Syria and against Houthi rebel radar sites in Yemen.
Having seen what happened in these conflicts Iran decided it needed the ability to fend-off Tomahawk cruise missiles, which have become the Western military’s weapon of choice in dealing with enemy command and control centres and air defence networks.
The decision to develop the Bavar 373 was made when the sale of the S-300 appeared to be in jeopardy, due it is thought to U.S. and Israeli pressure. However, President Putin authorised the sale and delivery of the system after Tehran and world powers agreed a deal on Iran’s nuclear program in April 2015.
Combined with the Russia S-300 and an array of other air defence systems, the Bavar 373 will be part of Iran’s integrated air defence network. Comprised of locally developed short range weapons like the Ya Zahra and the Herz 9, medium range weapons like the Mersad and the Sayyad-2, all linked to a variety of different radar systems.
How the Russian S-300 system works. The Iranian system is thought to function on similar principles. Click to enlarge

How the Russian S-300 system works. The Iranian system is thought to function on similar principles. Click to enlarge

Long-range weapons like the Russian S-300 and Iran’s Bavar 373 will make up the final element in this layered air defence network. Giving Iran the ability to repel the sort of strikes which opened air campaigns that eventually led to the toppling of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Colonel Gadaffi.
Iran recently completed operational tests of the Russian S-300. If the final tests of the Bavar 373 are also successful mass production of the system is expected shortly thereafter. Then it will only be a matter of time before Iran has enough effective air defence systems to make a Western air campaign too hazardous to contemplate.

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