Iranian Air Defense Commander Farzad Esmaili has reported today that his country’s new domestic-built air defense system is now about 30 percent completed, and that he is hoping it will be completed by some time next year.
Iran had initially planned on buying a number of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, but when Russia failed to deliver after years of delays, they announced in late 2011 a plan to build their own.
Russia signed the S-300 deal in 2007, but eventually canceled the deal claiming it would violate the UN sanctions. Iran has sued Russia over the breach of contract.
Esmaili said that the new system, dubbed the Bavar-373, would be even better than the S-300 when completed. It is designed with the oft-threatened Israeli air strikes against Iran in mind. At present Iran’s air defenses are build mostly around earlier Russian predecessors to the S-300, which Iranian officials say have been modernized somewhat since their acquisition.