Iran Boasts Newest Version of Bavar-373 Air Defense System is Better Than Russia’s S-400
In 2019, Iranian Brig. Gen. Shahrokh Shahram, then head of the defense ministry’s Organisation of Electronic Industries, said the Bavar-373 exceeded the capabilities of the US’ Patriot air defense system and even the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), although he was nonspecific as to which version of the Patriot its performance exceeded.
Iran’s newest version of the Bavar-373 is an even more effective air defense system than the Russian-made S-400 Triumf system, according to an Iranian defense leader.
“New editions of the Bavar-373 are coming and soon, a new edition that may be at the same or higher level than S400 will be unveiled,” Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mahdi Farahi said during a Sunday television interview.
According to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, the former Aerospace Industries Organization chief also said that the country had developed a new type of liquid rocket fuel that’s as stable as solid fuel. Typically, solid fuels are placed in rockets that must be ready to fire at a moment’s notice, but with the disadvantage that the fuel is less efficient than liquid fuel. Stable liquid fuel would give Iranian missiles a faster firing time and speed while making them lighter at the same time.
The Bavar-373 was Iran’s answer to an export ban by Russia on its S-300 surface-to-air missile system until 2015. The domestically developed system employs multiple radars for detecting up to 300 targets at a time, tracking 60 of them, and engaging six, and can punch through many types of jamming.
Ironically, the Bavar-373’s projectile, the Sayyad-4 missile, is an improved version of a reverse-engineered Standard Missile-1 (SM-1) sold to Iran by the United States prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution that threw out the Western-backed shah and ushered the present government into power. It has a range of up to 210 kilometers and can approach hypersonic speeds.
That will have to be considerably improved upon if the new version is to outperform the S-400, which can hit targets some 400 kilometers out when using the ultra-long-range 40N6E missiles. However, if it can indeed do so, then Iran could have a viable weapon for shooting down low-altitude satellites, or ballistic missiles in their midcourse phase.
In June, Dmitry Shugaev, the director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said that Tehran was interested in several Russian-made weapons systems, with Iran’s then defense minister, Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, having inspected an S-400 at the ARMY-2020 military expo outside Moscow the previous August.
Since October 2020, international sanctions against Iran that blocked it from buying weapons abroad expired, but if Tehran were to buy S-400s from Russia, it would open them up to new sanctions from the US under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). India, China, and Turkey have had to wrestle with similar restrictions when buying S-400s.