CONTENT PREVIEW
Military Capabilities

Iran deploys S-300 to Bushehr

13 July 2017

Key Points

  • Iran has set up what appears to be a permanent S-300PMU2 base at Bushehr that covers the northern Gulf
  • The location of one of Iran's four S-300PMU2 systems is currently unknown

Iran deployed one of its S-300PMU2 long-range air defence systems to the coastal city of Bushehr in late April, satellite imagery obtained by Jane's shows. The deployment significantly increases Iran's ability to monitor and threaten aircraft flying over the northern Gulf.

S-300PMU2 components arrived at the S-200 site next to Bushehr Air Base between 17 and 26 April as new pads were constructed at the disused HAWK site nearby. The S-300PMU2 had occupied these pads by 28 May, with its radars deployed on elevated positions formerly used by the HAWK.

Using Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery, Jane's has previously confirmed that Iran received four S-300PMU2 batteries from Russia in 2016, each consisting of a 96L6E target acquisition radar, a 30N6E2 target engagement radar, and four 5P85TE2 towed transporter-erector-launchers (TELs). These systems are supported by two 64N6E2 battle management radars and linked using FL-95 antenna masts.

A 5P85TE2 TEL launches a missile during training on the Semnan range in February. The 48N6E2 missile looks identical to the shorter-range 48N6E. (Defapress.ir)A 5P85TE2 TEL launches a missile during training on the Semnan range in February. The 48N6E2 missile looks identical to the shorter-range 48N6E. (Defapress.ir)

If the systems have been supplied with 48N6E2 missiles that are normally used with the S-300PMU2, they will have a range of 200 km, allowing the system at Bushehr to engage targets almost anywhere over the northern Gulf without reaching into Iraqi, Kuwaiti, or Saudi territory. The 300 km range of the radars will allow Iran to monitor air traffic flying over parts of these neighbouring countries.

Iran's S-300PMU2s were initially seen at a former S-200 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) site on the eastern edge of Tehran. Two were subsequently deployed to bases around Tehran: one at Tehran-Mehrabad International Airport, and the second at an existing HAWK air defence system site in Khavar Shahr to the southeast of the capital.

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