Russian air defense system sale to Iran will tilt military balance

Special to WorldTribune.com

by Dr. Jack Caravelli, Geostrategy-Direct

Iran has begun receiving one of Russia’s most advanced and capable air defense system, the S-300 after years-long delays due to international pressures.

Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehqan reports on S-300 status.
Iranian Defense Minister General Hossein Dehqan reports on S-300 status.

At present it is assessed by NATO to be able to attack aircraft flying as high as 90,000 feet or at ranges of about 100 miles. It also can defend against cruise missiles and some variants can defend against ballistic missiles.

The versatility of the S-300 will make it a potent threat in the Middle East. Depending on where Iran chooses to ultimately deploy the five battalions, their advanced radars will be able to track U.S. flight operations out of Bahrain where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered.

The S-300 also could make it difficult for both military and civilian aircraft to operate unimpeded in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, an area of strategic importance for the shipment of at least 20 percent of the world’s oil.

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