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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Iran claims hypersonic breakthrough

The new missile will enhance Tehran’s “deterrent power” against rivals, the country’s president has said

Iran has unveiled a new hypersonic missile that it claims can travel at speeds of up to Mach 15. President Ebrahim Raisi stated the new weapon would help to ensure “lasting security” in the region.

Dubbed the “Fattah,” meaning “Conqueror” in Farsi, the missile was announced on Tuesday by top officials at an event in Tehran. They declared the projectile would be the first in a new generation of weapons for Iranian forces, according to local media reports.

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“Today we feel that the deterrent power has been formed. This power is an anchor of lasting security and peace for the regional countries,” President Raisi said at the ceremony.

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who heads the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, also shared details about the weapon, stating it had a maximum range of around 1,400km (870 miles). While officials shared no footage of the Fattah successfully striking a target, Hajizadeh said the missile’s engine had undergone a ground test without issues.

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“There exists no system that can rival or counter this missile,” the general claimed.

He went on to display a model of the Fattah on stage, appearing to show that the missile has a movable rocket nozzle, possibly allowing it to change course mid-flight to evade enemy air defenses.

Tuesday’s announcement came not long after Tehran said it would reopen its diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia following years of hostility with the Gulf kingdom, and coincided with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s latest trip to Riyadh.

Hajizadeh initially claimed the Islamic Republic had developed its own hypersonic weapon late last year, though offered no evidence for the assertion at the time and shared few details about the system. To date, only a small handful of nations have successfully fielded hypersonic munitions given the advanced technology involved, including the US, Russia and China.