Iran claims to have S-300 anti-aircraft missiles

August 5th, 2010  

Topic: Iran claims to have S-300 anti-aircraft missiles

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air missile systems despite Russia's refusal to deliver them to Tehran under a valid contract, a semiofficial Iranian news agency claimed Wednesday.

The Fars news agency, which has ties to the country's most powerful military force, the Revolutionary Guard, said Iran received two S-300s from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source. Fars didn't elaborate, and there was no official confirmation of the report.
Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell the S-300s, but so far has not delivered. The sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles would significantly boost Iran's ability to defend against air strikes and Israel and the United States have strongly objected to the deal.
A spokesman for Belarus' state military trade committee, however, denied there were any missile deliveries.

"Talks with the Iranian side about the delivery of such systems have not taken place and, consequently, no deliveries to Iran have taken place, neither of these systems or elements of them," said Vladimir Lavrenyuk. "The Belarusian side strictly observes all international agreements on export control."

The S-300 is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at ranges of over 90 miles (144 kilometers) and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet (27,432 meters).
he U.S. accuses Tehran of seeking to build an atomic weapon, a claim Iran denies. The United Nations has imposed four rounds of financial sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce fuel for a reactor or a warhead. Iran says it has a right to conduct enrichment for what it says is its peaceful nuclear program.
Moscow said in June that the latest round of U.N. sanctions would prevent it from delivering the S-300s to Iran. The U.S. State Department said that Washington appreciates Russia's restraint.

But last month, Sergei Chemezov, the head of the state-owned industrial giant Russian Technologies, said the contract for the delivery of S-300s to Iran had not been annulled yet pending a decision by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Asked to comment on the Iranian report, Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for the Russian state arms trader Rosoboronexport, said that his company hadn't delivered any S-300s to Iran. "We are abiding by the U.N. sanctions," he said.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has forged close ties with Tehran, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited the ex-Soviet nation in 2007, has called the Belarusian leader one of his best friends.

Former Belarus' leader Stanislav Shushkevich, now an opposition politician, said that Russia in the past has used Belarus as a conduit for weapons deliveries to rogue nations.
"Belarus might well have used the established "gray" schemes to deliver S-300s to Iran," Shushkevich told The Associated Press. "The deliveries of S-300s from Belarus to Iran would have been absolutely impossible without Russia's knowledge and sanction."
Iran has insisted that Moscow is under an obligation to carry out the contract to provide the S-300 missiles to Tehran.

"Iran possesses four S-300 PT missiles," Fars reported.
The agency said Iran's possession of the missiles was revealed for the first time last year by Al-Manar TV, which is affiliated the Iranian-backed Islamic militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon. Fars said Iranian government officials never denied the report.
It added that Iran may try to start building the missiles itself.

Russia — which has sold other air-defense missiles, aircraft and other weapons to Iran — is in a difficult position in the international standoff with Iran, in part because it does not want to jeopardize decades of political and trade ties with the Islamic republic.
Still, Moscow has lately shown increasing frustration with Iran, and last month backed the new sanctions.
August 5th, 2010  
Even though Belarus denies that they did deliver it I still believe Iran as obtained a few S-300 from Belarus and other former Soviet countries that are Iranian leaning mostly Muslim populated. I remember Iran saying that due to failure of the Russian on making good on their contractual obligations that they will begin design work on a their own air defense system that would be comparable to the s-300, so my thinking is that the Iranians bought a few of these missiles in order to not only use them to defend their airspace but to also study them and reverse engineer them just like China does in order to build an Iranian version of it. Also the reason I don't believe the Belorussian denial is that as we have been seeing their president Lukenshenko has had a falling out with the Kremlin, he currently hosts the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan, he has also been a thorn on the Russian's side, recently Putin met Belorussian opposition members in Moscow so I believe Lukenshenko is attempting to be friendly with Iran in order to use Iran as a leverage against the Russians, and though they deny it publicly I believe they supplied the Iranians.
August 6th, 2010  
Belarus starting to forget who their boss is. Starting to forget they still exist only thanks to Russia. Lukashenko needs to be reminded to keep his mouth shut and follow his orders, the little prick. He is meddling in business that is not his to meddle in.

On the other hand, maybe he is, in fact, following his orders like a good little puppet that he is. Maybe, Putin told him to do this. Maybe, Russia wants Iran to have the S300s anyway, but so as not to lose face internationally, they did it this way, through Belarus. I think so. I just don't see old Luka crossing Putin this way.
August 7th, 2010  
Ehmm.. actually, Belarus couldn't sell any S-300 to Iran and keep this delivery unnoticed due to one simple fact: this country doesn't have its own anti-air defense system. Belarus is part of the so called 'joint anti-air defense system', all their radars and SA missiles are controlled from Russian Air Force main staff. More than that, most of the S-300 systems Belarus has were obtained after 1991 from Russia for free and there was a clear agreement that Belarus won't sell these missiles to anyone.

Also i'd like to remind you that this is far not the first time Iran claims they have S-300. They also claim they've 'invented a new missile' each time their AAD holds exercises.
August 8th, 2010  
First of Lukenchensko had a rift with Moscow, he currently hosting the former president of Krygyzstan who everyone believes was partly overthrown due to Russian prodding. He has constantly shown he doesn't take orders from Moscow and won't be easily intimidated, he recently in a tit for tat move raised the Transit fees Russia pays to transport their gas through Belarussian pipes because of Russia raising the prices of the gas they sell to Belarus this shows that Lukenschenko doesn't take his cues from the Kremlin. Also Iran is the only other major power that borders the Caspian see besides Russia; therefore, Belarus is using Iran as leverage against the Russians and Iran is using Belarus as a leverage against the Russians as we see how irritated the Iranians have recently got over the Russian backstapping at the UN security council. This Belarus & Iran thing seems pretty credible to me regardless of other Iranian claims, and this was reported by what seems to be impartial news provider and on top of the Iran never really claimed to have s-300 previous to this.
August 9th, 2010  
Originally Posted by Justice
and on top of the Iran never really claimed to have s-300 previous to this.
Yes, they did. For example:
They have been claming they had obtained S-300 since the early 90's.

Besides, all you have written is true but all those difficulties in Russian-Belorussian relations won't make it possible for Belorussia to sell/send as a gift S-300 to Iran, and i've explained why.

By the way if you're interested in military cooperation between Iran and post-Soviet republics, you better take a close look at Ukraine, because it is the only country except Russia who can actually sell heavy/strategic weapons to Iran, like they did it with Kh-55 cruise missiles several years ago.
August 9th, 2010  
The article says 4 S-300 Missile systems, but what exactly does that mean?

How many launchers and how many missiles does this mean? I would imagine such a system would be a priority target in case of a US attack.
August 9th, 2010  
Originally Posted by mmarsh
The article says 4 S-300 Missile systems, but what exactly does that mean?

How many launchers and how many missiles does this mean? I would imagine such a system would be a priority target in case of a US attack.
One S-300PMU system consists of a mobile command post, 2 troposphere radiocommunication vehicles, 1 radar set vehicle and 6 TELs with four 48N6E missiles each. That would mean 24 missiles for each system. Although, this is Soviet/Russian standard while export variants may vary in their strength.

And it is not clear with combat stock. For example each Russian system has up to 288 missiles. Of course, if Iran gets these systems illegal, they will hardly have even a hundred missiles.
August 10th, 2010  
^ you meant 48N6 if they are illegal import...
I wouldn't discount, that categorically, that they don't have @ least one fully functional unit, but blooping about it indicates usual bluff (in a same sentence )
I wander though, if actual missiles are possible to have replaced/combined with detection system of S-300?
August 10th, 2010  
You can have a fully functional unit with just 24 missiles for sure. That is more than enough to shoot down several aircrafts. The main thing they have to think about is how to protect a command post, radars and launch vehicles. I'm sure Iranian soldiers can learn how to track targets and push the button, but i don't think they have qualified specialists to operate this kind of weapon properly in a battlefield. So, to be completely honest i don't think there's much difference between Iran having 300 missiles per one system or 24 missiles. In case of war, Iran's... opponent will this way or another find a way to destroy these systems before having lost air superiority.

As for missiles replacement... In theory it is possible after some research, reprogramming and re-design of launch mechanisms. The thing is that it won't be S-300 anymore, because these missiles are in the same way advanced as the system in whole. They'll just blow off gigantic money and spoil the weapon, it is much easier to buy less advanced system. Although... if to keep in mind that Iran is quite a progressive scientific power they could come up with some AAD system of their own sooner or later.

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