Iran flexes its military might with new homemade weaponry

Iran flexes its military might with new homemade weaponry
Iran showed off some of its latest homemade military hardware this weekend - including high-altitude aircraft engines and missile systems - as President Rouhani announces Tehran has doubled defence spending.
2 min read
21 August, 2016
Iran's system is capable of shooting down Cruise and drone missiles [AFP]
Iran's latest homemade weaponry have been unveiled, with images emerging of a new missile system and a high-altitude aircraft as Tehran announces it has doubled its defence spending.

President Hassan Rouhani and Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan were shown by Iranian media with the new long-distance Bavar 373 missile defence system.

Built and designed when Iran was under international sanctions, the system was intended to be one of the world's leading missile systems and capable of intercepting cruise missiles, drones, combat aircraft and ballistic missiles.

The system was supposed to match the Russian S-300, which was suspended in 2010 due to sanctions.

"We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 - we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it," Dehghan told a state news agency.

Images at an army parade last year appeared to show the same missiles, but the launch system had not been unveiled to the public before.

Rouhani also unveiled the first jet engine made by Iranian engineers capable of flying aircraft to altitudes of 50,000 feet. 

"The Islamic republic is one of eight countries in the world who have mastered the technology to build these engines," the president said.  

He also said that Iran's military budget had more than doubled compared with last year, despite agreeing a nuclear deal with arch-foe the US which saw sanctions being dropped. The move was criticised by some ultra-conservatives who have been keen to sideline Rouhani.

"If we are able to discuss with world powers around the negotiating table, it is because of our national strength, because of our national unity," he said.

In 2015, shortly before the conclusion of an international agreement on the nuclear programme, Moscow re-authorised the delivery of the S-300 system

In May, the Iranian military said that it was now equipped with the S-300 system, though further parts are due over the coming months.

Agencies contributed to this story.