MOSCOW --- Iran’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is planning to conduct the negotiations with Russia over the acquisition of Sukhoi combat aircraft, the national defense minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan said in an interview to an Iranian TV channel.
"Once the deliveries of the S-300 long-range air defense systems (ADS) from Russia are finished and the newest Iranian Bavar-373 ADS is phased into service, we will not need to acquire additional batches of air defense weaponry. Hence, Iran is not planning to buy new long-range ADSs [except S-300 and Bavar-373]. At the same time, we should shore up the national Air Force. The Iranian MoD is planning to conduct negotiations with Russia over the acquisition of Sukhoi combat aircraft," Dehghan said.
The general added that the trials of the Bavar-373 long-range ADS developed by the indigenous defense industry would be conducted at an early date. "In accordance with the request issued by the Iran`s President, Hassan Rouhani, the intercept of a simulated ballistic missile will be the first test. If the system passes it successfully, the industry will launch the massive production of the Bavar-373 system. The ADS is planned to be brought into service before the year-end," Dehghan pointed out.
According to the Military Balance 2016 report issued by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Iranian Air Force’s air defense units operate 250 FM-80 (a licensed Chinese copy of the Crotale SAM system), 30 Rapier, 15 Tigercat, over 150 MIM-23B I-Hawk, 45 S-75 Dvina (NATO reporting name: SA-2 Guideline), 10 S-200 Angara (SA-5 Gammon), and 29 9K331 Tor-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, as well as a number of FIM-92 Stinger A and 9K32 Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail) man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).
Tehran is continuing to receive the S-300PMU2 (SA-20 Gargoyle) long-range air defense systems being supplied by Russia.