At a moment that Iran and the US/UK are effectively already at war on the open seas in an ongoing "tanker war," Tehran is set to unveil a new Iran-manufactured long range air-defense missile system which could rival Russia's S-300 system.
Citing state media, the Associated Press described "the Bavar-373 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons."
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency indicated the system will be fully unveiled in a ceremony on Thursday, on the occasion of the country's "Defense Industries day".
The Iranian military has been increasingly reliant on its burgeoning domestic defense manufacturing industry in the face of crippling US sanctions. Since the early 1990's it's been able to develop tanks, submarines, and light and heavy munitions, and more recently touted an Iran-build stealth warship.
State media called the soon to be revealed Bavar-373 system a "deterrence against threats" uniquely produced domestically due to the "continuous sanctions imposed by the enemies" of the Islamic Republic. The first footage of the system was released Tuesday through state sources ahead of Thursday's unveiling ceremony.
Russian aviation publication Avia.Pro claimed early this week that the Iranian system is “superior” to the S-300. It's reportedly been undergoing testing since 2017, but it's unclear how quickly it will actually be deployed into operation.
“The Iranian Bavar-373 radars can detect air targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers, and, in addition to aircraft, the radar is able to detect cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as small drones,” the publication stated, according to a translation.
“According to unconfirmed data, the radar is also capable of detecting stealth aircraft, which makes it an effective means of combating F-22 and F-35 fighters, which, incidentally, were recently discovered near the Iranian borders,” the report said further.
And separately, the AP acknowledged:
The system could be a competitor to Russia’s S-300 missile system.
No doubt the timing of this week's unveiling is calculated as a message to Washington, and as a warning that sanctions will only increase Iran's domestic-produced defense capabilities.