Russia Deal to Supply Iran with S-300 Missile Systems ‘Back in Force’

Russia’s deal to supply Iran with advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile systems is “back in force,” according to Rostec.

The French news agency AfP reported the news on Monday, citing a statement from the state-run industrial corporation Rostec, which stands for Russian Technologies State Corporation:

“The contract between Russia and Iran for delivery of S-300 missile systems is back in force,” the state-run Russian Technologies corporation said in a statement, adding that the two sides had “signed a contract.”
Russia plans to sell three or four of the advanced surface-to-air missile systems to the Islamic republic for an unspecified price. Iran has long wanted to buy the S-300 SAM, which carries the NATO reporting name SA-10 Grumble and is designed to provide defensive cover from enemy aircraft and cruise missiles.

But as AfP reported:

“Moscow blocked deliveries of the surface-to-air missiles to Tehran in 2010 after the UN Security Council imposed the curbs on Iran over its nuclear programme barring hi-tech weapons sales.

Iran then filed a $4-billion suit at an arbitration court in Geneva for the cancellation of the $800 million order by Russia, which has long been Iran’s principal foreign arms supplier.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin in April lifted a voluntary hold on the weapons sale, which dates to 2007, over progress in a deal between Iran and Western countries, including the U.S., to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions. The pact would allow the Islamic republic to pursue a limited atomic program for peaceful purposes over the next decade — but also lift economic sanctions and a key arms embargo.

The deal comes as Israel may buy more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the stealth fifth-generation fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp., and as the U.S. Air Force looks to begin developing a new stealth bomber called the Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, recently awarded to Northrop Grumman Corp.

While the U.S. has more than 150 bombers in the fleet, only about 20 of them — the B-2 Spirit made by Northrop — are stealthy enough to operate in high-threat environments at distances greater than 1,500 miles, analysts have said.

–Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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