TEHRAN – Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Qassem Taqizadeh said the US has stopped flights of its U-2 reconnaissance planes over the region for fear of being intercepted by Iran’s increasingly effective air defense system.
“The US moves in the region are monitored every hour and for instance, the flights of the US U-2 planes which took off from Cyprus and flew twice over the region stopped after Iran made and operated Bavar 373 air defense system and after they found out that the system can track and destroy them (the U-2 planes),” General Taqizadeh said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday.
He added that Bavar 373 can intercept and destroy the most advanced US planes at the altitude of 27km and the range of 200km.
“Most US interests are within a distance of 220km from Iran and if they hit a blow to us, their interests will be attacked,” General Taqizadeh said.
Iran has made continued progress in building different domestic-made air defense systems in the last two decades. The country in August unveiled the domestic-made version of the sophisticated Russian S-300 missile defense system, dubbed Bavar (Belief) 373 with the capability to target ballistic missiles.
Bavar 373 was unveiled in a ceremony participated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami.
“Bavar 373 is the most important indigenized missile defense system whose design and manufacturing started a few years ago and can engage multiple targets in high altitudes,” General Hatami said, addressing the ceremony.
He added that the Iranian defense industry experts have gone through the reverse engineering phase and designed and manufactured the parts relying on domestic capacities. The anti-air defense system can detect 60 targets, identify 13 targets and engage 6 targets. Allegedly, the system is more powerful than the Russian S-300 and some of its features could be compared with S-400.
Last month, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base General Mohammad Yousefi Khoshqalb underlined high capabilities of the home-made Bavar 373 missile system, saying that it acts as a strong shield against all aerial threats.
“Bavar 373 is a tough rival for this class of systems and stands even far above them; it has been a very wide leap in defensive deterrence power against enemy threats,” General Khoshqalb said.
“It is a system that can act against all types of threats,” he added.
General Khoshqalb explained that Bavar 373 is capable of confronting threats in high-altitude, distant areas, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones.