Russia’s Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol is in talks with Iran on modernizing the short range Tor-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet) surface-to-air missile defense systems, the plant’s assistant director general told RIA Novosti Thursday.
“Iran has been operating a large number of our Tor-M1s. We [Iran and Russia] are holding talks about a possible modernization of the Tor-M1. We provide [Iran] with spare parts and train personnel. The work continues,” said Vyacheslav Kartashov, liaison for military-technical cooperation and government contracts.
According to Kartashov, Iranian experts “professionally operate” the Tor-M1 missile systems, and provide for its maintenance. “The equipment is in an excellent combat condition. Perhaps, this is one of the factors withholding the potential aggressor,” he said.
Tor is designed to detect and engage modern high-precision weapons, including cruise missiles and guided bombs. The Tor-M1s are deployed to protect Iranian state and military facilities from air attacks.
Russia completed the delivery of 29 Tor-M1 missiles to Iran in January 2007. In September 2010, Moscow joined the UN sanctions against the country, prohibiting almost all arms trade, in response to Iran’s controversial nuclear activities.