Report: Russia Supplying Iran With Advanced Defense System

Iran’s news agency reported that Russia is providing Tehran with TOR-M1 ground-to-air missiles. The move is seen as preparing Iran for a strike by Israel or the U.S. against its nuclear program.

Yechiel Spira , | updated: 5:07 AM

According to Israel Aircraft Industries information, the TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile system is a mobile, integrated, air defense system, designed for operation at medium, low, and very low altitudes, against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs, guided missiles and precision weapon. IAI reports the deal between Russia and Iran was signed and delivery began this month.

The system is capable of operating in an intensive aerial jamming environment. The system is comprised of a number of missiles and a Transporter Launcher Vehicle (TLV). A Russian air defense TOR battalion consists of 3-5 companies, each equipped with four TLVs. Each TLV is equipped with 8 ready-to-launch missiles, associating radars, fire control systems and a battery command post.

The system is effective against precision guided weapons and cruise missiles. In tests, the missile demonstrated kill probability of such targets ranging from 0.6 to 0.9.

Deliveries of the TOR systems to Iran began this month, and are expected to continue through 2008. The $1-billion deal was signed last December, covering the procurement of up to 29 TOR M-1 missile systems, modernization of air-force systems and the supply of patrol boats. The TOR component of the deal was reported to be $700 million.

The new defense system would make attempts at an aerial assault against Iran’s nuclear facilities considerably more complicated as the international community takes no concret action to stop Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from moving briskly ahead towards nuclear independence.

The TOR M1 combat vehicle can operate autonomously, firing from stationary positions or on the move. Set-up time is rated at 3 minutes and typical reaction time, from target detection to missile launch, is 5-8 seconds. Reaction time could range from 3.4 seconds for stationary positions to 10 seconds while on the move. Each fire unit can engage and launch missiles against two separate targets. TOR M1 can detect and track up to 48 targets at a maximum range of 25 km, and engage two of them simultaneously at a distance of 1 to 12 km. The system's high lethality rate is maintained at altitude of 10 – 6,000 meters. The vertically launched, single-stage solid rocket propelled missile is capable of maneuvering at loads up to 30g.

It is equipped with a 15kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead activated by a proximity fuse. The system is offered as fully integrated tracked combat vehicle, or as a modular combat unit (TOR-M1T) comprising a truck mounted mobile control module and launcher/antenna units, carried on a trailer. Other configurations include separated towed systems, as well as shelter-based systems, for the protection of fixed sites.