Tehran Times — July 5, 2017
TEHRAN – A senior Iranian military commander said on Wednesday that the long-waited-for homegrown missile system will be field-tested by year end (March 2018).
“By God’s grace, we will field-test the missile system by yearend, and will enter service in the country’s integrated air defense next year,” Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Farzad Esmaeili told reporters.
Back in March, Iran’s defense minister said that the home-made version of the sophisticated S-300 missile system, dubbed Bavar-373 (Belief), would be ready for use after undergoing operational tests in May.
By March, the homegrown had undergone three tests out of five, with the fourth test postponed due to technical glitches.
The long-range air defense system Bavar-373 is a domestically built long-range mobile air defense system which was developed after the UN Security Council passed a resolution banning the sale of advanced weapons to the Islamic Republic, which in turn suspended Iran’s purchase of the Russian S-300.
However, the restriction was lifted last year after Iran and six world powers signed a nuclear deal that restricted some aspects of Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Bavar 373, the country’s first vertical-launching air defense system, has similar characteristics to Russia’s S-300 system and was test-fired in August 2014 and unveiled in August 2016.
The project to build these missiles was launched in February 2010, after Russia suspended the $900 million deal signed in 2007.
Tehran has since persevered with its plans to produce its own ground-to-air missile system even though it took delivery of the Russian system and successfully tested it in March.
Accordign to Esmaeili, all the four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, have been deployed across the country.
Early 2017, the army test-fired a homegrown new surface-to-air missile, Sayyad 3 (Hunter 3), launched from the indigenously-manufactured Talash (Endeavor).