Sunday, September 26, 2004

Daily Times - REGION: Iran seeks Indian radar to protect nuke facilities

Daily Times - Site Edition: "REGION: Iran seeks Indian radar to protect nuke facilities

* Sources claim New Delhi under pressure from US not to sell radars

TEHRAN: Iran is negotiating with India to buy advanced radar system to help protect its nuclear weapons facilities. The Untied States is closely monitoring the potential deal.

Industry sources on Saturday said New Delhi has been considering an Iranian request for upgraded Western-origin radar systeMs

They said the systems are designed for fire control and surveillance of anti-aircraft batteries. Iran is seeking an unspecified number of Upgraded Support Fledermaus radar systems from the Indian state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd, or BEL. The deal could reach $ 70 million and mark the first major defence agreement between New Delhi and Tehran since they signed a defence cooperation pact in 2002.

The government in New Delhi has been examining the Iranian request for about a year now. Tehran has relayed two separate requests for the upgraded radar systems Industry sources said New Delhi has been under pressure form the United States not to sell the radars to Iran.

The United States has determined that the request is part of Iran’s military effort to protect its nuclear weapons facilities. Iran already employs Soviet-origin anti-aircraft systems around the Bushehr nuclear reactor. It has already been a client of BEL in 2001, the Indian company sold Teheran components for sonar systems deployed by the Iranian navy. The 2002 defence cooperation pact between New Delhi and Teheran was meant to pave the way for Indian upgrades and maintenance of Iran’s navy. The Upgraded Super Fledermaus is monopulse radar used in 35-mm air defence batteries and designed to detect low-flying objects, such as unmanned air vehicles. The digital system contains a but-in simulator as well as a signal jammer. BEL has confirmed Iran’s request for the upgraded radar. Executives said Iran has sought the same fire control and surveillance radar that the company upgraded for the Indian Army in 2001. The Super Fledermaus was acquired in the early 1980s and produced by BEL under licence from the radar’s designer Ericsson Radar Electronics. "

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