‘First shot’: Iran tests Bavar-373 system aimed to substitute Russian S-300

                                                

 
 
 
 A picture shows a part of Iran's new medium range anti-aircraft air defence system Mersad (Ambush) (AFP Photo)

A picture shows a part of Iran’s new medium range anti-aircraft air defence system Mersad (Ambush) (AFP Photo)

 

Tehran has showcased an indigenous long-range air defense system, the Bavar-373 missile, developed as an alternative to the Russian S-300 after Moscow canceled its contract.

“Bavar-373 has fired a first successful shot,” the commander of the Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli, told Iranian state TV on Friday.

According to Iranian security officials, the new system is better than the Russian S-300, as it is able to track over 100 targets, just like the Russian system but with a higher targeting capability.

“We believe that ‘Bavar’ and ‘3rd of Khordad’ missile shields are better than some other long-range missile defense systems of the country,” ol-Anbia added, Fars news reports.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the development of the missile system, after then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev banned armed sales to the country in light of UN sanctions against Tehran. Following the move, Iran filed a $4 billion lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva.

The S-300 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system produced by NPO Almaz. It is designed to be used as a defensive weapon against aircraft and cruise missiles.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Air Defense commander boasted that the country’s defense systems will track down all of Islamic Republic’s enemies if they fly over Iran’s airspace.

“We give a warning to the enemy’s aircraft before entering the Islamic Republic’s airspace, and deem any kind of intruding drones or planes of enemy a threat, and shoot it down immediately in case of entry [into Iran],” Colonel Mahmoud Ahmadi, commander of Iran’s southwestern Air Defense zone, Tasnim news reported.

A drawing of the Bavar-373 (Image from wikipedia.org)

A drawing of the Bavar-373 (Image from wikipedia.org)

This follow an August 24 incident, when the country’s forces shot down a stealth drone thought to be sent from Israel. The invading “Hermes” aircraft was intercepted by a surface-to-air missile.

Iran has also unveiled plans to increase the number of air defense sites from the current 3,600 to 5,000, according to Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli.

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Norway Sends Tanks to Latvian-Russian Border – Reports

About 190 Norwegian soldiers from the Telemark Battalion, one of the most well-prepared military subdivisions in the country, are expected to take part in the drills

 

MURMANSK, August 30 (RIA Novosti) – Norway is sending a tank battalion to the Latvian-Russian border for two-months drills, VG newspaper reported.

The drills are Norway’s response to NATO’s request to support the allies in light of the growing activity in the Baltics and are Oslo’s contribution to calm the allies, Norway’s Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in the Friday interview with the paper. He underlined that only excercises were in plan.

About 190 Norwegian soldiers from the Telemark Battalion, one of the most well-prepared military subdivisions in the country, are expected to take part in the drills. Telemark’s servicemen have experience of working in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq, according to VG.

Military subdivisions from other NATO countries are expected to join Norway in the excercises, which are part of the alliance’s measures to ensure the security of its members in light of the Ukrainian crisis.

NATO has been deploying its forces to its closest territories to the Russian border to counter the alleged threat posed by Russia to the former Soviet Baltic republics.

NATO members are scheduled to meet in Wales for the September 4-5 summit to discuss the alliance’s response to Russia, which it accuses of interfering in Ukrainian affairs.

Russia’s Permanent Mission to NATO told RIA Novosti on Monday that Moscow has no plans to participate in any activities during the NATO summit in Wales.

Russia’s Defense Ministry ridicules NATO’s photo-proof of invasion in Ukraine

 

A handout photo provided on August 28, 2014 by DigitalGlobe via NATO allegedly shows Russian military units moving in a convoy formation with self-propelled artillery in the area of Krasnodon, Ukraine (AFP Photo / HO / DigitalGlobe)

 

It makes no sense to comment in detail on the satellite imagery released by NATO as “proof” of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, Defense Ministry’s spokesman said, pointing out that even high NATO officials were hesitant to put their names on it.

Referring to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof.

“You know, it has become ridiculous… If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, Rasmussen, or even Lungescu, now, they are hesitant,” Konashenkov said as cited by RIA Novosti. “It makes no sense to seriously comment on this.”

The General also criticized western media outlets for accepting such images and anti-Russian stance at face value.

“The phrase ‘NATO published satellite shots of Russian troops’ presence in Ukraine’ has become as common in recent months as the famous ‘British scientists have discovered…” Konashenkov said, referring to a media cliché often ridiculed in Russia. “Usually those words are followed by the results of some new crazy research that has no practical sense whatsoever.”

“Apparently, the new Secretary General of NATO in the near future will have to exert much effort in order to restore the severely tainted image of the alliance as a high-status international organization,” Konashenkov added.

A handout photo provided on August 28, 2014 by DigitalGlobe via NATO allegedly shows Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions, near Krasnodon, Ukraine (AFP Photo / HO / DigitalGlobe)

A handout photo provided on August 28, 2014 by DigitalGlobe via NATO allegedly shows Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions, near Krasnodon, Ukraine (AFP Photo / HO / DigitalGlobe)

The Defense Ministry statement follows a war-mongering media rhetoric blaming Russia for invading Ukraine, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, accused Russia for violating its sovereignty and called on the UN Security Council to assess the situation.

Simultaneous to Kiev’s accusations, NATO made public satellite images that were offered as “proof” that Russian self-propelled artillery was on the Ukrainian territory, as well as about 1,000 Russian troops taking part in special operations in eastern Ukraine. The images, as usual, were provided by a commercial company DigitalGlobe operating civilian satellites. The images were not altered or edited with NATO experts only adding extra information for the general public to understand what they are looking for.

READ MORE: Online list of army units ‘relocated to Ukraine’ is a fake – Russian Defense Ministry

The US as always sided with Poroshenko’s statements and NATO-offered evidence, with US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki saying that Washington has “no reason to doubt their [NATO’s] assessment.”

Meanwhile both the head of OSCE’s Ukrainian monitoring team and Russia’s representative said there was no Russian presence spotted across the Ukraine border, refuting claims that a full-scale invasion was underway.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russian troops had entered Ukraine. The statement came as NATO released satellite images that it claimed showed Russian self-propelled artillery on Ukrainian territory. The alliance said about 1,000 Russian servicemen were taking part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov also said neither NATO, the United States or the European Union have presented any evidence of Russian troop presence in the east of Ukraine.

According to him, the “stuffing of misinformation through the media and directly from Kiev” each time is carried out on the eve of important meetings at the EU level, this time ahead of the summit on August 30 in Brussels, “probably in anticipation of some critical language and even sanctions from the EU,” Itar-Tass quotes.

And indeed, US President Barack Obama joined the chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric on Thursday, warning Moscow that more sanctions are in the works as the US is currently in consultation with its “European allies” ahead of a NATO meeting next week.

SCO Troops in Final Stage of Peace Mission 2014 Exercise

Last stage of the previous year's SCO anti-terrorist exercise Peace Mission - 2013.

 

MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) – Military units from Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are in the final stage of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) joint anti-terrorist exercise Peace Mission 2014.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry press service, the drills follow a scenario in which a city becomes a hub of political instability and terrorist activity, and SCO countries intervene to resolve the issues.

During the first stage of the exercise, the united SCO forces used electronic countermeasures against the simulated enemy’s communication systems. After the reconnaissance mission, Russian and Chinese air forces carried out attacks on terrorists. Then, artillery destroyed the command centers of the enemy.

The end of the first stage of the drills saw ground forces surrounding the enemy, supported by the united air forces that included Russian Su-25 ground attack aircraft, Kazakh Su-27 fighter jets, Chinese H-6K bombers and Russian Mi-8AMTSh assault transporter helicopters. The united forces also practiced dispatching high-mobility troops and 12 military hardware units.

The main stage of the Peace Mission 2014 is held from August 24 to 29 in China’s Inner Mongolia. The drills see some 7,000 participants from SCO countries, with the exception of Uzbekistan. The military exercise is aimed at honing multilateral decision-making and military cooperation among SCO members.

The drills are taking place in China’s Zhurihe training base, one of the most modern training military facilities in Asia, covering an area of about 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles).

Ban on defense products export to Russia will ruin Ukraine’s industries — analyst

Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov says the ban was is an utterly populist decision that may work only in the short term

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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, August 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The ban on the export of military and dual purpose products to Russia will ruin Ukraine’s military-industrial complex, the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“The Ukrainian military-industrial complex will not survive without Russian contracts. The West does not need its products at all. The hostilities will draw to an end sooner or later, but the Ukrainian defense industry and engineering will be stone-dead by then. President Poroshenko will be unable to honor his promise to disburse $3 billion to re-equip the armed forces and upgrade the fleet of military hardware in 2015-2017. There is just no source where the money may come from. And the domestic contract will fail to substitute for missing Russian orders,” Pukhov said.

Pukhov believes that many employees of the Ukrainian arms manufacturing industries, so far loyal to the authorities in Kiev, will soon change their mind. The industries that will go bankrupt will be demanding subsidies, but the government does not have the money.

“It was an utterly populist decision. It may work in the short term, but in the long term, Poroshenko and his team will have to pay dearly for it,” Pukhov said.

Ukraine bans export of miliatry and dual use products to Russia

Poroshenko earlier on Thursday enacted the National Security and Defense Council’s resolution of August 27 to terminate the export of military and dual purpose products to Russia.

As Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said last April, the overall portfolio of Russian civil and military contracts placed in Ukraine stood at about $15 billion, or 8.2% of Ukraine’s GDP, while experts at Ukraine’s Army, Disarmament and Conversion Studies Center claimed that Ukraine’s losses resulting from the termination of military cooperation with Russia would not exceed $300 million.

Ukraine’s design bureaus Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash provide spare parts for the R-36M2 ballistic missiles (Satan), and Motor Sich makes helicopter, plane and rocket engines. Engines provided by Motor Sich and the MKB Progress, in Zaporozhye, are used in Russia’s planes Be-200, Yak-130 and An-124, and equipment from the Nikolayev-based plant Zorya-Mashproekt (such as reduction gear and gas turbine plants), in Russia’s naval ships.

The vice-president of the Union of Machine-Builders of Russia, Vladimir Gutenyov, said “the disruption of integration and cooperation ties with Russian defense industries will be tantamount to the clinical death of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex.”

He explained that “transition to EU standards will make Russia’s high technology market inaccessible to Ukraine”.

Kiev’s Claims About Russian Troops in Ukraine Groundless – Russian Official

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs

 

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The claims concerning Russian troops entering Ukraine are groundless, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, said Thursday.

“Lies have become habitual for the so-called Ukrainian authorities, so [Ukrainian President] Poroshenko is not going to surprise anyone in Russia, or in the West. I can only say that there are no grounds for such claims,” Slutsky told RIA Novosti.

According to the official, Poroshenko’s cancelation of his scheduled visit to Turkey under the pretext of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine is nothing but a publicity stunt.

“I think that very soon the international community will make an objective assessment of the Kiev junta’s actions, and many countries, members of the European Council, the representatives of which we are constantly in touch with, are beginning to realize that Kiev is leaking lies,” Slutsky said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian president canceled his trip to Turkey and called an emergency meeting with the country’s security council due to the aggravation of the situation in Donetsk Region, as “Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine.”

Russia’s envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Andrei Krelin, denied the claims that Russia had sent troops to help independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.

On August 24, Donetsk People’s Republic forces started to move south to the Sea of Azov on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Three days later, the republic claimed it had moved tanks into Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov.

Czech Defense Ministry Unaware of Hungarian T-72 Tanks Purchase

T-72 main battle tanks

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Czech Defense Ministry is unaware of any T-72 tanks being transported from Hungary into the Czech Republic, Director of the Communication and Promotion Department at the ministry Jan Pejsek told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

“The Czech Defense Ministry does not have any information about the transportation of T-72 tanks by a Czech company from Hungary into the country,” Pejsek said.

The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry told RIA Novosti that it had issued no license to any Czech firm authorizing the import of Hungarian tanks.

On Monday, Czech company Excalibur Defense Ltd. began transporting 58 T–72 tanks, purchased from the Hungarian Defense Forces, into the Czech Republic, the Hungarian government website said. These 58 tanks could have been drawn from Hungary’s reserves of about 120 T-72M tanks.

According to a representative of Czech holding Excalibur Group, Excalibur Defense Ltd. is a Hungarian company that used to be linked to Czech company Excalibur Army Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Excalibur Group. Excalibur Army Ltd. has not yet provided any comments on its possible link to the purchase of tanks.