According to The Guardian newspaper, Russia has received drones, rifles, ammunition, and armored vehicles from Iran for its war effort in Ukraine. Now Guardian report confirms that Russia received several batteries of the Bavar 373 air defense missile system from Iran.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia and Iran have generally enjoyed very close cordial relations. Iran and Russia are strategic allies and form an axis in the Caucasus alongside Armenia. Iran and Russia were also military allies in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and partners in Afghanistan and post-Soviet Central Asia.
Due to Western economic sanctions on Iran, Russia has become a key trading partner, especially in regard to the former’s excess oil reserves. While much of the Iranian military uses Iranian-manufactured weapons and domestic hardware, Iran still purchases some weapons systems from Russia. In turn, Iran has helped Russia with its drone technology and other military technology.
The first prototype of the Bavar-373 was built on 22 November 2011 and it was formally unveiled during a ceremony attended by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 22 August 2019. It was first used in October 2020 by the Iranian Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) during a military exercise.
The latest version of Bavar 373 seems to be based on a 10×10 “Zoljanah” truck with four rectangular container launchers mounted at the rear of the chassis. Each container contains one Sayyad-4 missile. According to the Iranian defense industry, the Sayyad-4 has a range of 300 km and can reach an altitude of 27 kilometers. It is designed to intercept and destroy any type of aerial target as well as ballistic missiles.
The Bavar 373 launches the Sayyad-4 missile which is a localized copy of the Russian-made 48N6E which is the missile used by the Soviet-era S-300MPU air defense missile systems. The 48N6E is a vertical tube-launched, solid fuel, single-stage, long-range, surface-to-air missile (SAM) advertised as an interceptor for aircraft, missiles, UAVs, and short-range ballistic missiles.
Bavar 373 has the same deficiency as the Soviet-era S-300 and has low efficacy in a clutter and jamming environment. 48N6E features maneuverability, a fragmentation warhead, a proximity fuse, and a semi-active radar guidance system manufactured by Russian Almaz-Antey.
Citing the technical features published on the Iranian weapons export catalog, the missile can destroy aerial targets with a range from 5 to 120 km and an altitude of up to 15 km. The missile has a diameter of 515 mm, a total weight of 2,050 kg with a warhead of 180 kg. The missile has an inertial guidance system with a semi-active radar homing seeker.
Israeli air force’s F-16 fighter jet had successfully destroyed BAVAR 373 missile in Syria in several occasions.
Hezbollah could receive BAVAR 373
Iran-backed militias that form the self-styled “Axis of Resistance” have recently made bold claims regarding their air defense capabilities.
Iran is reported to have deployed a high-altitude air defense system, “Bavar-373,” which is claimed to be equivalent in capability to the S-300PMU1 air defense system in Syria.
The purpose of this deployment is to protect assets and allied militia members in that Arab country from potential aerial threats from Israel.
Iran tried to export the BAVAR 373 called AD-200 to Hezbollah and the Syrian army. “Do you think we don’t have BAVAR 373?” Hezbollah spokesperson asked rhetorically before adding, in English, “If Iran has BAVAR 373, absolutely Hezbollah will take BAVAR 373.”
Earlier this month, the Russian Wagner mercenary group delivered a short-range Russian Pantsir-S1 (which NATO refers to as the SA-22 ‘Greyhound’).
Iran is said to have shifted its strategy in Syria by investing millions of dollars over the past two years to establish its own air defense systems in the Arab country, reducing its reliance on Syrian military-operated air defenses.
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