Iran set to launch advanced air-defence shield

Tehran, Feb 15: Iran will launch an advanced air-defence system in the next two years, a senior Iranian official said Saturday.

Infrastructure bottleneck problems have been solved for the development of the missile shield, Bavar 373, said Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defence Base Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili.

He added that development and construction of the defence system would be completed by the end of Fifth Five-Year Plan (2010-2015), Xinhua reported citing the Fars news agency.

“We hope to witness a very good system with higher capabilities than the (Russian-developed) S-300 in our air defence system by the end of the development plan,” Esmaili.

“The indigenised system will be more powerful than the S-300 missile system,” he said.

Iran and Russia signed a contract for the S-300 system in 2007. In September 2010, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning shipments to Iran of the weapons and equipment listed in UN resolution on sanctions against Iran.

Iran has been suing Russia in the International Court of Arbitration demanding $950 million of compensation for the contract cancelled by Russia arms export agency Rosoboronexport.