Minister: Iran to Triple Range of New Missiles
TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Sunday said Iran will soon triple the range of Martyr Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi missiles unveiled last month.
Iran on Aug. 20 displayed Martyr Qassem Soleimani, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, that Hatami said had a range of 1,400 kilometers.
The cruise missile, called Martyr Abu Mahdi named after Iraq’s top anti-terror commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, has a range of over 1,000 km, he added.
Both commanders were assassinated in January in a U.S. drone strike on their convoy in Baghdad airport.
Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Hussein Khanzadi also said Sunday the Islamic Republic has increased the range of a homegrown submarine-launched missile.
Khanzadi said Jask-II has a longer range than its previous models. He said surface missiles can be diverted by the enemy, but Jask-II is launched from a submarine that makes it hard to track.
The missile, he said, can be fired from Fateh submarine, a homegrown watercraft with advanced sonar system.
The Iranian Navy on Friday fired a submarine-launched cruise missile during a massive military drill in the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The drill, codenamed Zolfaqar-99, began on Thursday with the participation of units from ground, naval, air, and air defense forces of the Iranian army and wrapped up Saturday.
Speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the exercise, Army commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said a broad range of homegrown equipment was tested in the war game, including submarines, drones and missiles.
The commander said the massive drill has assured the people of Iran that the armed forces are fully prepared to protect the national interests.
The Iranian navy on Friday said it drove off American aircraft that flew close to an area where military exercises were underway near the Strait of Hormuz.
The military said three U.S. aircraft -- a P-8 airplane, a MQ-9 drone and a RQ-4 drone -- were detected by Iran’s air force radars after they entered the country’s air defense identification zone, according to its website.
After "ignoring warnings by Iran’s defense systems to keep away from the drill zone” the aircraft were tracked by an Iranian drone before "they changed course and left the zone,” it added.
In June last year, a U.S. RQ-4 drone was shot down by Iran after violating the Islamic Republic’s airspace.
During Friday’s drill, the Iranian navy deployed homegrown military equipment, including a submarine and a cruise missile on the second day of exercises near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The Iranian navy also test-fired a "Ghader” land-to-sea cruise missile first unveiled in 2014, saying it successfully hit its target at a distance of over 200 kilometers (124 miles).
A locally-made "Simorgh” combat drone also destroyed its targets using "smart, precision bombs” in waters more than a 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away, the navy said.