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Iran says ready to export defense systems

Jan. 5, 2011 at 6:33 AM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A senior Iranian military commander has expressed Tehran's readiness to export domestic made air-defense systems to foreign states.

The remark by Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brig. Gen. Ahmad Miqani came as he trumpeted Iran's capability to supply the country's full air-defense needs.

"We are supplying all of our needs in the field of air-defense domestically and inside the country," he told the Iran-based FNA news agency.

"When we start production of a weapon it means that we are mass-producing it and we can export our surplus products to the other countries if there is no problem," he added.

The remarks sounded as Iran sought to showcase its latest military addition and attempt to boost the country's defenses: new naval cruise missile systems.

Capable of spotting and destroying different targets at sea, the systems have been fully designed and produced by local military engineers. The systems, including launching pads, will be deployed along the country's coastline, "playing a key role in maintaining regional security and stability," Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.

Last month, the country's air force conducted tests of different anti-aircraft defense systems, including the anti-cruise Tor-M1 and S-200 anti-aircraft missile system.

Earlier this year and yielding to international pressure, Russia scrapped a controversial missile defense deal to Iran citing U.N. sanctions against the Islamic republic over its controversial nuclear program.

Military analysts feared that the deployment of the Russian-made S-300 missile system would have created problems in any potential war designs against Iran.

The United States and Israel opposed the sale of the system, which can destroy multiple aircraft and missiles at a range of about 100 miles and altitudes of up to 20 miles. It is able to simultaneously track up to 100 targets.

Washington and some of its allies, including Israel, suspect Iran's civil nuclear energy program is a cover for a secret effort to develop weapons. Iran, though, has repeatedly rebuffed the accusation saying it only wants to enrich uranium to the lower levels used in producing fuel for power plants.

Iranian news sources describe the country's S-200 system as "a very long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile system designed to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircraft." Each battalion has six single-rail missile launchers and fire control radar and it can be linked to other longer-range radar systems.

The maximum range of each missile is 350-500 miles, depending on the model, with each missile using radio illumination mid-course correction to zoom in on its target.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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