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article imageOp-Ed: Iran continues researching developing and testing S-300 system

By Eliot Elwar     Jan 4, 2013 in World
Syria probably received S-300 components from Russia before transferring the parts to Iran. The S-300 is an advance air defense system that will create problems for any nation conducting a future air strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities.
On 1 January 2013, the commander of the Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base in Iran, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli stated "laboratory tests" are proceeding on subsystems for the long-range Bavar 373 air-defense system, the Iranian homemade version of the Russian designed S-300 system. Additional press reports referred to a September 2012 declaration by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi indicating his ministry will shortly release sensitive information about the production of the indigenous version of the sophisticated S-300 air defense system, according to Fars News Agency.
On 23 December 2012, Jeremy Binnie, the editor for Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, indicated there were recent Russian weapons components deliveries to Syria, including Buk-M2 and PantsyrS1 mobile missile launch and radar systems. While press reports of the shipment of the S-300 have not been confirmed and the Syrian armed forces did not show off any S-300 missiles in a military display this year, it is possible they have could been delivered and are not currently operational, according to the Guardian.
On 20 Dec 2012, Assad reveals his payback to Iran for supporting his Syrian regime by supplying Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, according to Commentary Magazine.
On 25 November 2011, Arutz Sheva indicated that Russia was planning to sell the S-300 system to Iran, but backed down after American and Israeli pressure. However, the report also claims that Iran paid for the system for Syria. Arutz Sheva alleges, “It is not known if some of the missiles have reached Iran as well,” according to End the Lie news.
Analysis
The S-300 air defense system, also known as the SA-10 GRUMBLE, is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system that is designed to detect, track, and destroy advance ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and low-flying combat aircraft. This weapon system was developed by Russia and it has been modernized several times. The S-300 system variations are known as the S-300PMU-1 (SA-10D) and the S-300PMU-2 Favorit (SA-20), according to Missile Threat news.
The S-300 weapon system evolution began in the 1960′s by the USSR. From the start, this air defense system included the most “cutting-edge” Soviet missile defense technology. Its phased-array fire control radar is capable of tracking up to six targets simultaneously, while its single-state, solid-fuel propelled missile sported aerodynamic control surfaces and thrust vectoring. The first S-300 missile, known as 5V55K, had a range of 47 kilometers and could engage its targets between 100 and 30,000 meters, according to Missile Threat news.
The S-300 is still deployed by Russia in several variations. Russia is consistently improving the S-300′s capabilities and it is considered to be nearly equal to the U.S.’s PATRIOT air defense system. Russia exports the S-300 missile to various countries, some of which include Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, according to Missile Threat news. If Iran has successfully developed a homemade version of Russia's S-300 system, then this development will create problems for the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and NATO forces conducting likely future air strikes on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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