Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force unveiled an anti-aircraft system, which it claims has a multi-target tracking capability similar to the S-300 it has long sought from Russia.
The Third of Khordad air-defense system was presented on Sunday during a tour by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the Republican Guard’s Aerospace Exhibition, where new equipment was showcased, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.
The report claims the system was constructed completely by Iranian experts, and a Republican Guards Aerospace Force commander said it is comparable to the advanced S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system, and that in the future it would be increased in range to 200 km.
Media reports indicate that Iran has long sought to purchase the S-300 from Russia but has faced pressure from the US and Israel against the sale.
Russian officials told Amos Gilad in 2009, then head of the political-military bureau in the Defense Ministry, that the missiles to Iran would not be delivered for political reasons.
In the end, Russia scrapped the sale in 2010, and in what may have been a quid pro quo, Israel agreed to sell Russia surveillance drones that would narrow its technological military gap with Georgia.
Iran also unveiled at the exhibition its version of the American advanced radar-evading unmanned aerial vehicle (UA V), the RQ-170 Sentinel, which it captured in 2011. Iran claims to have reverse engineered the US drone and equipped it with a bombing capability, Fars reported.Reuters contributed to this report.