Iran will unveil a new generation of its long-range S-200 air defence missile system by February 2011, commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani has said.

“The second optimisation phase of the system will be carried out between 21 January and 19 February 2011. In this phase, the radar system of the S200 missiles will be boosted and made fully digital,” he added.

The S-200 system is a very-long-range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system with a maximum range of 200km-350km that is designed to defend large areas from attack by bomber or other strategic aircraft.

The missile system will be launched by four solid-fuelled strap-on rocket boosters and each battalion has six single-rail missile launchers and fire control radar, according to FNA.

The missile uses radio illumination mid-course correction to fly towards the target with a terminal semi-active radar homing phase and can be linked to other, longer-range radar systems.

Iran has been producing its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes since 1992.