Has Iran built this missile defense system by copying or reverse-engineering the Russian S-200 system?

Or, is it built from their own research?


2 Answers 2


Well, the AD-200 is the export version of the Bavar-373. The latter project was started after Russia refused to sell more S-300 to Iran (around 2011), so it was definitely intended to supplant the S-300.

As for originality, details are scarce, but it seems to include a phased array that is more modern than on the older S-300 systems, but one has to keep in mind that Russia also has various iterations of this system.

The missiles (Sayyad-3) are also not exactly identical:

The canisters appeared to be approximately 6.5 m in length, which would make the Sayyad-3 shorter than the 7.5 m-long 48N6 missile used with the S-300PMU2.

Russia eventually changed its mind (around 2015) and sold Iran some S-300PMU2, which seems to be the most modern export version of that system. But Iran also continued with its indigenous project.

  • You can find here an article on the evolution of the S-300 radars. It's a bit too technical for Politics SE. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 7:23
  • Note, Iran has also unveiled the "Meraj 4" surveillance radar, which is supposedly roughly equivalent to the Soviet/Russian "Tomb stone" or "Big Bird" for the S-300/S-400, with the signficant difference that the Russian radars are two-sided (back-to-back antennas). Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 8:10
  • But I can't figure out if they have some equivalent for the "Clam Shell" radar that the S-300 systems use for tracking cruise missiles. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 8:23
  • According to Wikipedia, the Sayyad 3 might be a development of the Sayyad 2, which was derived from the US-based RIM-66. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 9:02

Probably both own research and partial copy of S-200. At least they differ in reported diameter - this site (in Russian) quotes diameter of S-200 missile at 770 mm (0.77 m), your quote states diameter at 513 mm. This alone excludes exact copying of S-200, but no data if at least some elements from S-200 were copied, like say a radar.

  • I upvoted the answer, but I think it is is some aspects a bit briefer than would be optimal for a non-expert reader. I would love to see it expanded 2-3 fold at least, since it is information-dense to a point of sometimes even being cryptic. Silly question: could they have copied all parts but simply scaled everything down in proportion 513 mm / 770 mm? I am not a rocket scientist, so please explain this in terms that even a bioinformatician can understand. :) TYIA! Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 14:06
  • 1
    @TimurShtatland scaling an engine, which is one of the most important parts of a rocket, either down or up, requires significant effort to test for durability or power/weight ratio, and it is quite possible that scaling a principle then developing an all-new engine on that principle would provide better outcome. The cube-square law of scaling states that volumes change by cube of size ratio and surfaces as squares, so scaling down will lower the volume of everything, resulting in both some elements getting thinner and tubes/pathways narrower, unbalancing thermal and fuel+air flow.
    – Vesper
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 14:35
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    Thus, an engine would either not gather enough power (not to mention turbines if they are used, unlikely on a warfare rocket) or burn through quicker than anticipated. This is the very first problem that came to my mind regarding scaling. Upscaling also suffers, both from plain mass increase for the engine to requiring more fuel per second, also shifting thermal balance.
    – Vesper
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 14:38
  • I get it now. Thank you so much for the explanations! I think that parts of it I can even explain to my young child who is studying now the volumes, areas, weights, etc. Physics and math in action! Wow. Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 14:48

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