Iran has signed a $700 million contract with Russia for the purchase of Tor M-1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) air-defence missile systems, say Russian officials quoted in Russian business daily Vedomosti.

The agreement is reported to cover the sale of 29 systems, which were options on a Greek order for the Tor M-1 in the 1990s. Greece took delivery of 21 systems at around $526 million, but declined its options on the other 29.

The Tor M-1 is designed to operate at medium, low and very low altitudes, against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, cruise missiles, unmanned air vehicles, guided missiles and precision-guided weapons. The system’s 9K331 missiles can engage targets at a speed of up to 138,000ft/min (700m/s), at a range of 1-12km (0.5-6.5nm), at 30-19,700ft (10-6,000m). The system is produced by Russia’s Kupol plant in Izhevsk, and was designed by Almaz-Antei.

The sale, the biggest since 2000, when Russia withdrew from a voluntary agreement made under the so-called Gore-Chernomyrdin protocol covering restrictions on arms sales to Iran, is likely to dismay Washington.

Source: Flight International