Thursday, September 19, 2019 | ePaper
Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system
AFP, Tehran :
Iranian officials have called Bavar-373 the Islamic Republic's first domestically produced long-range missile defence system
Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States.
Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic's first domestically produced long-range missile defence system.
Tehran began making Bavar-which means "believe"-after the purchase of Russia's S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions.
President Hassan Rouhani attended the unveiling ceremony for the mobile surface-to-air system and ordered it to be added to Iran's missile defence network, state news agency IRNA reported.
"The long-range Bavar-373 missile system is suited to Iran's geography with a range of more than 200 kilometres (124 miles) ... and competes with Russian and American systems such as S-300 and Patriot," IRNA said.
The system is "better than S-300 and close to S-400", Rouhani said in televised remarks after the ceremony, held on Iran's "national defence industry day".
Pictures released by his office showed the system mounted on the back of military trucks in Tehran.
Iran installed the S-300 system in March 2016 following several years of delays, after a nuclear agreement reached with world powers the previous year allowed the lifting of international sanctions.
Thursday's unveiling takes place against a backdrop of rising tensions with Washington since President Donald Trump last year withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.
Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone with a surface-to-air missile in June for allegedly violating its airspace, which the United States denies.
Iran's president struck a muscular tone on dealings with the U.S., saying Thursday that "talks are useless" as Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers crumbles further.
President Hassan Rouhani made the comment in a speech in Tehran during the unveiling of the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system that he described as an improvement to the Russian S-300.
"Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic," Rouhani said in the televised speech.
He added: "When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: 'Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.'"
On Wednesday, Iran's state TV reported that the Bavar-373 is able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons.
Since 1992, Iran has developed a homegrown defense industry that has produced light and heavy weapons ranging from mortars and torpedoes to tanks and submarines.
The U.S. re-imposed sanctions on Iran after the Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal over concerns about Iran's missile program and regional influence.
President Donald Trump argued that the accord did not limited Iran's ballistic missile program.