Iran unveils new locally developed missile defense system

Amid heightened tensions with the United States, Iran rolled out a new missile defense system Thursday it says was developed and built locally.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani introduces a new missile defense system Thursday in Tehran, Iran. Photo by Iranian Presidency Office/

President Hassan Rouhani hailed the surface-to-air Bavar-373 missile system, compared it favorably to the Russian-made S-300 and said it rivals the S-400. He praised Iran’s defense industry for producing “effective systems” to counter aerial threats and detect, track and destroy radar-evading aircraft “from a safe distance.”

Iran said the mobile anti-aircraft missile has two search and intercept radars that are resistant to electronic warfare and electromagnetic bombs. They can also detect the anti-radiation missiles often used to destroy air defenses.

The Bavar-373 has a range of 186 miles, and at any one time can detect as many as 300 targets and track 60. The new system can also engage six targets at a time, Tehran said. The missile is not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

In introducing the system Thursday, National Defense Industry Day in Iran, Rouhani said the nation’s religious doctrine is based on deterrence.

The Iranian leader also criticized the United States for abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal and attempting to bully and sanction Tehran into surrender.

“There is no doubt that the U.S. has not succeeded and will not succeed in any plot in the region,” Rouhani said, adding that U.S. forces would be “first to flee” if danger arrives in the Middle East.

ByNicholas Sakelaris