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10:09 AM, August 22, 2016
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Iran Unveils First Indigenous Long-Range Missile Defense System
Bavar 373 missile defense system (Reuters photo)

Iran has released images of its first indigenous long-range missile defense system.

The images on local news agencies showed President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the new Bavar 373 missile defense system.

Iran launched the program when the country was facing sanctions due to its nuclear program. It was designed as an alternative to the Russian S-300 system after Russia refused to deliver the missile defense system in 2010.

“We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 - we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it,” Dehghan told the IRNA news agency on Aug. 20.

Rouhani said in a televised speech that Iran’s military budget had more than doubled compared with last year.  

“If we are able to discuss with world powers around the negotiating table, it is because of our national strength, because of our national unity,” he said.

Rouhani also unveiled the first Iranian-made turbojet engine on Sunday, saying it was capable of flight at 50,000 feet.

"The Islamic republic is one of eight countries in the world who have mastered the technology to build these engines," the president said.

Dehghan added that Iran was now looking to develop seaborne cruise missiles capable of supersonic speed.

The new Bavar 373 has Iran's first vertical launcher, using Sayad 3 missiles that were first tested in September 2014.

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