Iran on Monday announced that it had finished testing a new hypersonic missile capable of penetrating all defense systems and that it will soon be unveiled.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s aerospace unit, said the development marked a “great leap in the field of missiles,” and that “the hypersonic missile has a high speed and can maneuver both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere.”
Hajizadeh first revealed the development of the hypersonic missile last November.
“It will be able to breach all the systems of anti-missile defense,” said the general at the time, adding that he believed it would take decades before a system capable of intercepting it is developed.
Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons, can fly more than five times the speed of sound.
A hypersonic missile is also maneuverable, making it harder to track and defend against.
While countries like the United States and Israel have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, the ability to track and take down a hypersonic missile remains a question.
Last week, Iran unveiled another version of a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles), enough to hit areas of Israel.
The Kheibar missile — the latest version of the Khorramshahr, which is Iran’s longest-range missile to date — was unveiled Thursday alongside a replica of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, in a live broadcast on state television.
Iran said the missile had been successfully test-launched, with State TV broadcasting a few seconds of footage of what it said was the launch.
Agencies contributed to this report.