Iran Buying SA-15/Tor M-1 SAM Systems from Russia
Novosti in Russia and western media outlets like Reuters are reporting that Russia will sell about 30 Tor M-1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) surface-to-air missile systems. Greece had bought 21 of the systems and had the right to another 29, but scrapped the deal in the late 1990s. Those missiles will now find their way to Iran, where they will be emplaced between 2006-2008 around the Bushehr nuclear power plant. That reactor is due to be completed by Russia in 2007, and is widely seen as a component of Iran’s atomic bomb program.
The SA-15 can reportedly identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of 20 to 6,000 meters (60-20,000 feet). It is capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, UAV, precision-guided weapons and various types of guided missiles. Interfax news agency separately quoted a source as saying the deal, which would also include modernising Iran’s air force and supplying some patrol boats, was worth more than $1 billion, including $700 million or so for the SA-15s.