Iran claims to have developed technology for supersonic cruise missile

Local media says projectile is part of ‘a new generation of Iranian cruise missiles’ and will enhance Islamic Republic’s ‘response power in case of any military conflict’

An Iranian cruise missile is launched during a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, June 18, 2020. (Iranian Army via AP)
Illustrative: An Iranian cruise missile is launched during a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, June 18, 2020. (Iranian Army via AP)

Iran has developed the technology to produce a supersonic cruise missile, according to an Iranian report Wednesday, the Islamic Republic’s latest claim of a military breakthrough amid growing Western concerns over its missile program.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the domestically developed projectile, which was not named, was currently undergoing testing and was part of “a new generation of Iranian cruise missiles.”

“The supersonic projectile will open a new chapter in Iran’s defense technologies, as it is extremely difficult to intercept a cruise missile flying at supersonic speeds,” the report asserted.

The news agency also said the missile relied on a more advanced engine system than the model the Iranian arms industry previously relied on.

“The naval cruise missiles and development of supersonic cruise missiles will greatly enhance Iran’s response power in case of any military conflict and prevent the invading forces from showing timely reaction,” it added.

Iran has previously made dubious and exaggerated claims regarding its military capabilities and there was no independent confirmation of the announcement.

In June, Iran claimed to have created a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound. No images were released of a successful launch of the new missile, called Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Farsi.

Hypersonic weapons, which fly at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, could pose crucial challenges to missile defense systems because of their speed and maneuverability. Iran described the Fattah as being able to reach Mach 15 — which is 15 times the speed of sound.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the time brushed off the Iranian claim about the hypersonic missile, saying Israel would always have a solution to counter it.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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