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Iran tests home-grown air defence system: official

• https://www.yahoo.com

Tehran (AFP) - Iran has tested its home-grown air defence system, designed to match the Russian S-300, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' air defence has said.

"In parallel with the deployment of the S-300, work on Bavar-373 system is underway," Farzad Esmaili told state broadcaster IRIB late Saturday.

"The system is made completely in Iran and some of its parts are different from the S-300. All of its sub-systems have been completed and its missile tests have been conducted."

Bavar (which means "belief") is Tehran's first long-range missile defence system, and is set to be operational by March 2018, he added.

In 2010, Iran began manufacturing Bavar-373 after the purchase of the S-300 from Russia was suspended due to international sanctions.

Russia resumed the sale following the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers which lifted sanctions, and Iran's S-300 defence system became operational in March.

On Sunday, state television aired the first footage from a "secret" drone base in an undisclosed desert location, where dozens of different types of unmanned aircraft were lined up.

"If necessary, a great number of Iran's high-speed eagles (drones) will land on the enemy," Esmaili said in the footage.

Iran has developed several military drones in recent years, drawing criticism from Washington.

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