Cyprus will buy the Russian Tor (SA-15) surface to air missile system if Italy continues to hesitate in selling the Alenia Aspide 330 system, according to Cypriot media sources.

The Cypriot defence minister, Yiannakis Omirou, is understood to have told a closed session of the parliamentary defence committee that if Italy still maintains a block on the sale of the missiles by the end of October, Cyprus will immediately purchase the Tor system.

Cyprus is already embroiled in a row with Turkey over its intended purchase of S-300 surface-to-air missiles supplied by Russia, with threats by Turkey to carry out air strikes on S-300 sites if they are deployed as planned later this year.

Tor uses the Fakel 9M330 missile, with eight rounds mounted on the turret of a tracked carrier vehicle similar to the older SA-6 system. The system is intended to engage tactical targets at low level over short ranges, and it is probably intended to be used as protection for Cyprus' S-300 sites.

Russia and Ukraine are the only current users of Tor.

Source: Flight International