Russia has reportedly begun the procedure for supplying S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran, after a contract was signed by the two countries earlier this month.
A diplomat was quoted by Iranian news agency Tasnim as saying: "The process of the S-300 system's delivery to Iran has entered the implementation stage."
Earlier this month, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said that the country is expected to receive the deliveries by March 2016.
S-300 is a long range surface-to-air missile system developed to defend Russia against aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. They have undergone multiple modifications since their first deployment by the then USSR in 1979.
The surveillance radar tracks objects over a range of 300km and alerts the command vehicle, which directs the engagement radar to launch missiles, according to a report by the BBC.
The engagement radar guides the missiles to the target. It has the capability to simultaneously guide 12 missiles and engage six targets.
The launch vehicle can fire two missiles vertically within three seconds to a maximum range of 150km.
Iran originally signed an $800m contract with Russia in 2007 for the supply of five S-300PMU-1 systems, but it was scrapped in 2010 following a fourth UN Security Council arms embargo on the Middle Eastern country.
Russia lifted the ban in April this year, after its relations with the US and Europe strained with the latter countries imposing economic sanctions on the former.
Image: The S-300PMU2 Favorit surface-to-air system. Photo: Public Domain / Wikipedia.