Commander of Iran’s Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said Iran still continues to optimize its indigenized S-200 anti-aircraft missile shield and plans a new tactical use for the system.
Brigadier General Esmayeeli pointed to his meeting with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei last year, and said during the meeting he briefed the leader about the latest developments and achievements in his force.
Esmayeeli said “we then presented a report to the Leader about a new tactic for an artillery and missile defense system, and the Leader instructed us to practice this new tactic on S-200 defense shield”.
“Accordingly, the new tactic will be used (on S-200) in late March and early April,” Esmayeeli said.
In July 2013, General Esmayeeli announced that Iran has optimized the Russian-made S-200 long-range air defense missile system and added mobility to its previous features.
“Good measures have been adopted in this regard. We have given mobility to the S-200 missile system, the same plan to give mobility to all artillery and missile systems is on the agenda of the Air Defense Force,” Esmayeeli said.
He explained that the mobility feature has been added to the S-200 and other anti-air defense systems in a bid to increase agility of air defense systems of the country.
Esmayeeli said that the fire power of the optimized S-200 missile shield has increased and it is also capable of pinpoint targeting now, adding that the new features have proved successful in different tests.
He further mentioned that the optimized version of the S-200 missile defense shield would be unveiled in the next 9 months.
In November 2010, Iran successfully test-fired its S-200 anti-aircraft missile systems.
Iran's S-200 system is a very long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircrafts. Each battalion has 6 single-rail missile launchers and fire control radar. It can be linked to other, longer-range radar systems.
Each missile is launched by 4 solid-fueled strap-on rocket boosters. Maximum range is between 200 and 350 km depending on the model. The missile uses radio illumination mid-course correction to fly towards the target with a terminal semi active radar homing phase.