Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claims the Bavar-373 missile defense system is superior to the S-300 and can compete with the Russian S-400 and the US Patriot missile complex.
Amid tensions in the region that escalated after the US deployed a group of aircraft carriers in the Middle East. After the attacks and detention of tankers as well as the shooting down of unmanned aircraft, Tehran has repeatedly revealed many new military equipments and weapons which has researched and developed by themself. Currently Iran cannot import weapons because of the international embargo. One of the most advanced weapons that receives a lot of attention is the Bavar-373 missile system, officially announced in the presence of Iranian President on August 22, 2019. The emergence of a new anti-aircraft missile system makes even more sense to Iran as the Middle East region has recently become a real tank of gunpowder. The regional situation became extremely hot with retaliatory attacks between Washington and Tehran.
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.” That was the speech of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the launch of the Bavar-373 air defense missile on August 22. This is probably also the Iranian philosophy of action now, they will act to save themselves without relying on luck.
Tehran has been developing Bavar-373 since 2010, after Russia canceled a $900 million Russian-Iran deal signed in 2007, on the S-300 missile defense system to enforce UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. In April 2015, Russia resumed negotiations on the S-300 missile contract and by 2016, provided Iran with four S-300PMU2 missile systems, an upgraded version of the S-300 for export. Despite this, Iran secretly developed the Bavar-373 missile system. The Iranian Defense Ministry has cooperated with industry groups and some unidentified universities to host the project. Bavar-373 was first launched in August 2016 and tested in 2017. It is now ready to be delivered to Iranian armed forces.
Bavar-373 in Persian means “belief”, this is a long-range air defense missile system developed and built by Iran. According to observers, Bavar-373 is believed to be a copy of the Russian-made S-300 missile system. According to information from Iran, the Bavar 373 system is superior to the Russian S-300 system and it competes with the S-400 and the US Patriot systems. The report said the Bavar 373 system was designed to suit Iran’s geographical conditions.
It could simultaneously engage six targets with 12 missiles at ranges of up to 250 km. The Bavar 373 radar system is said to have a range of 350 km and can be used in any weather conditions, and even when enemies are using chemistry and biology weapons. The report also said that Bavar 373 can launch surface-to-air missiles like the Sayyad-4 with a maximum altitude of 27,000 meters. Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami said that Bavaria could be used against strategic and tactical fighters and bombers, as well as against stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and other targets.
No official information has been released about this new Iranian missile system, but from the revealed images, Bavar-373 has at least two configurations including launchers in mode of 2 missiles and 4 missiles. The missile containers are similar to the American Patriot systems, mounted on Zoljanah 10×10 trucks.
The Sayyad-4 missile is similar in structure to the Sayyad-3 on the wings and control surface, though with slight changes in its forward shape. The Bavar-373 uses phase array radar to track aerodynamic targets and medium to long range ballistic missiles, it is mounted on ZAFAR heavy trucks. One of the radars used in Bavar-373 is Meraj, some sources believe that this phased array radar with range of 450 km which uses fuzzy logic techniques to spot targets. Meraj can track up to 200 targets simultaneously. The long-range air defence system is capable of detecting up to 100 targets, tracking 60 of them and engage with six concurrently.
Press TV said that the Bavar-373 is much stronger than the S-300, portable, flexible and has a shorter launch time than the S-300, and even some features comparable to the S-400. According to unconfirmed information, the Bavar-373 radar can track stealth aircraft and is effective against F-22 and F-35 fighters, these military aircraft are delivered recently near the Iranian border.
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According to experts, with its range, the Bavar-373 system can only match the US MIM-104 Patriot and the Russian S-300 export version, not comparable to the S-400 system as previously announced by Tehran. However, this is still a very powerful defense system, when combined with S-300PMU2, Talaash-3 and other weapons to form a terrifying defense umbrella for any opponent. According to former Iranian Defense Minister Vahidi, with the power of Bavar-373 and S-300PMU2, Iranian air defense does not need to buy additional S-400 from Russia.
Western military analysts say that Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities. Concerns about Tehran’s long-range ballistic missile program have contributed to prompting the United States to withdraw from the nuclear treaty that Iran signed with six countries in 2015. Many initially showed disbelief in the capabilities of the Iranian missiles, but these remarks were withdrawn after Tehran shot down a US $180 million MQ-4C Triton unmanned reconnaissance drone with a homemade rocket on June 20.
Commenting on the Bavar-373, some military experts said that, like the praises of weapons and other equipment, this could be Tehran’s name-branding tactic. It is difficult for the country to make a S-300-equivalent missile, not to mention the S-400. And it is likely that the Iranian general was confused about the S-300’s features, because at the moment, the most advanced versions of these systems are not equipped with missiles with ranges up to 300km except for the S-300VM.