Iran set to obtain Pantsyr via Syria
By Robin Hughes
Iran is set to acquire at least 10 96K6 Pantsyr-S1E self-propelled short-range gun and missile air-defence systems as a derivative of a major deal struck between Syria and Russia earlier this year.
A source close to the deal told Jane's that Russia has agreed to sell Damascus "some 50 Pantsyr-S1E systems", with initial deliveries set to begin later in 2007. Syria is understood to be receiving the Pantsyr-S1E equipped with the latest Roman I-Band fire control radar.
While the source noted that most of the Pantsyrs are earmarked for the Syrian Air Defence Command, "the end user for 10 of the systems is Tehran". These should reach Iran, via Syria, in late 2008, the source told Jane's.
According to the source, Iran will part finance the Syrian acquisition along with payment for its own 10 systems to recompense Damascus for its compliance in the deal.
Syria is understood to have signed a contract with Russia, with an estimated value of USD730 million, for the supply of the Pantsyr-S1E. While Tehran has indicated to Damascus the urgency of the requirement, the source said that the 10 systems to be transferred will not be taken from the first ones supplied to Syria but from later deliveries. The source added Iran has also disclosed plans to acquire at least 50 Pantsyr-S1E systems and is currently now exploring potential options to realise this. He additionally confirmed that Iran has now acquired at least two longer-range S-300PMU-1/2 Favorit (SA-10c/d 'Grumble') air-defence systems.
Syrian consent to enable Iran to procure the Pantsyr-S1E systems through Syria is an implementation of the military and technological co-operation mechanism stipulated in a strategic accord signed by both countries in November 2005.
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