Iran says it has produced its own Bavar 373 rockets, following Russia’s refusal to finalize a purchase agreement for S300 rockets, and preliminary testing of the Iranian-made rockets is underway.

ISNA reports that Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, the head of the Iranian Army’s Khatami-ol-Anbia Air Defence Base, told reporters on Tuesday January 1: “Fortunately, the Bavar 373 project has reached a stage where we can begin preliminary tests.”

He added: “We are involved in even greater projects that will be announced on Air Defence Day in the coming year.”

In 2005, Iran signed an $800-million deal with Russia to receive five S300 rockets by 2007. However, Russia later back away from the deal on the grounds that it violated UN Security Council sanctions.

UN sanctions forbid the sale of heavy military equipment, including anti-aircraft missile systems, to Iran.

The S300 air defence rockets are one of the most powerful anti-aircraft missile systems in the world, capable of defending against ballistic and cruise missiles.

Iran announced that it will produce Bavar 373 rockets to replace the S300s Russia refused to deliver in 2207.

General Esmaili said today that production of the Bavar 373 rockets was launched in early 2012.