Friday, December 28, 2007

Moscow adds another anti-air, anti-missile layer – S-300 – to defend Iran’s nuclear facilities against Israel attack

DEBKAfile’s military and Iranian sources report that, while Russian-Iranian military ties are burgeoning rapidly, no complaint is heard from Jerusale Iranian defense minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Wednesday, Dec. 26 that he and a visiting Russian delegation had just signed a contract for the supply of another Russian anti-air weapon, the highly sophisticated S-300, rated the most effective killer of ballistic missiles on the market.

The news came a day after Russian air defense officers and technicians arrived in Tehran to install TOR-M1 missile batteries at Iran’s nuclear facilities; and two weeks after the delivery of Russian uranium fuel rods for Iran’s atomic reactor at Bushehr.

Military sources say that Moscow has designed the multi-layer air defense system to make Iran proof against Israel’s Air Force and the ballistic missiles in its armory. Yet not a murmur has been heard from prime minister Ehud Olmert or strategic threats minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is fond of boasting about his friendly ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

While TOR-M1 can locate and destroy moving targets at low altitudes, the S-300 system uniquely zaps high-flying, medium-range ballistic missiles of the type which is the backbone of Israel’s surface missile units at a distance of 1-40 km. Together, they lend Iran air superiority over any missiles and aircraft.

Another of S-300’s significant features is its advanced guidance method which relies on a single phased array radar to trace missiles in the air. This reduces its deployment time to five minutes; secondly, the missiles are sealed rounds and require no maintenance over their lifetime.

Our military sources add that Syria will soon to receive the S-300, as Damascus and Tehran progress toward a unified military command. They will provide coverage against attack for the territory between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.

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