Procurement: November 3, 2001


: Iran has signed a major deal with Russia to upgrade existing weapons and buy new ones. While details of the pact are highly-guarded secrets, they are thought to include the following:

@ new air defense missile systems including the S-300-PMU-2 (SA-10E Grumble), SA-11 Gadfly, and Tor-M1 (a mobile army system fitted with SA-16 Gauntlet missiles).

@ new fighters, either MiG-29s or Su-27s.

@ new anti-tank missile systems

@ 550 BMP-3 armored infantry fighting vehicles (cost $100 million)

@ new warships, possibly including the P20382 "stealth corvette" being build in St Petersburg, missile boats armed with SSN-22 Sunburn or SSN-25 Switchblade missiles, and new amphibious landing ships. 

@ Russian help for Iran to develop its own communications and spy satellites.

@ new battlefield artillery missile systems including the SS-21 Scarab and SS-26 Stone.

@ deals for licensed production of numerous types of weapons and ammunition.

@ refitting the three Kilo-class submarines with SSN-21 Sampson anti-ship missiles.

@ creating a "support center" in Iran that would provide service for Iran's current stocks of MiG-29s, Su-24MKs, and T-72s, among other Russian-made weapons. This would probably include various upgrade, training, and logistical programs for these systems. A tank warfare simulator for the T-72s allowing entire battalions to "fight" at the same time is under final negotiations.

Iran reportedly plans to spend $10 billion on new weapons by 2010, of which about half would be spent in Russia. The deal appears part of a Russian and Iranian push to counter US domination of the Middle East.--Stephen V Cole


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