Iranian state news proudly presented the first images of a long-range "air defense" system Friday, the Bavar 373 missile, in a message to the international community about the military and defense capabilities of the Iranian Army.
The Bavar 373, named after the Farsi word for "Belief," was developed as an alternative to the S-300, which Russia withdrew its intention to sell Iran due to pressure from the European Union (EU).
Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the development of the missile system as an alternative to locally produced weaponry. The matter was handed over to the Air Defense Command, Khatam al Anbia, and a number of scientific and academic centers.
According to Iranian security officials, the Bavar 373 is better than the Russian S-300; it is allegedly able to track over 100 targets simultaneously and is equipped with long-range ground to air missiles.
In recent years, Iran has invested considerable resources in the development of the army, and among other things it produces aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, radar systems, air defense systems, tanks, submarines, ships, and more.
The air defense systems are designed to provide "protection" from what the Islamic Republic claims are "the possibility of a Western or Israeli attack" against its nuclear facilities.
The announcement also follows news earlier this week that an Israeli drone was reportedly shot down near an Iranian nuclear site.