Iran Tests Advanced Russian-made Air Defense System

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A S-300 air defense missile is launched in southern Russia.
A S-300 air defense missile is launched in southern Russia.Credit: AP

Iran successfully test-fired a sophisticated Russian-made air defense system, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

The report said the test of the S-300 system came during a recent military exercise named Damvand, the name of Iran's highest mountain.

File photo: The S-300 missile system outside Moscow.Credit: AP

It said the test targeted various flying objects, including missiles. With a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) the S-300 is capable of simultaneously tracking and striking multiple targets.

State TV aired footage of the missiles launching from the back of trucks. It said the test was carried out in Iran's central desert.

Russia transferred the advanced S-300 air defense missiles to Iran in 2016, nearly 10 years after Tehran signed the $800 billion contract. The shipment, intended to protect Iran’s nuclear installations, went ahead after Tehran signed the nuclear deal with the major powers in July 2015.

Israel tried for several years to press President Vladimir Putin to delay the missile shipment, but in the end the Russians went ahead despite the protests of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to a Russian source, Israel's protest stemmed from fear of the missile system being mistakenly used against Israeli planes.

In 2016 a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers went into practice under which Iran limited its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.

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