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Iran unveils 'Haj Qassem' and 'Abu Mahdi' missiles

Iran's new air defence missiles seen at their production facility on July 22 2017, [Iranian Ministry of Defence]
Iran's new air defence missiles seen at their production facility on 22 July 2017 [Iranian Ministry of Defence]

Iran has today unveiled two new, domestically-made, long-range missiles, coinciding with the country's National Defence Industry Day.

The two new missiles were named after the former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani, and the former deputy head of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, both of whom were assassinated in targeted US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport at the start of the year.

The 'Martyr Haj Qassem' is a ballistic missile with a range of around 1,400 kilometres, while the 'Martyr Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis' is a cruise missile capable of reaching 1,000 kilometres.

During the unveiling of the surface-to-air missiles, which was broadcast live on state TV, Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said, "The country's achievements in the defence industry over the past four decades are not comparable to any other period," describing the accomplishments as a "basis for military self-reliance and a must for [maintaining] the country's independence.

Mehr news agency reports that the Haj Qassem missile, part of the Fateh-110 family of missiles, is a significant improvement from the previous Zolfaghar ballistic missile which has a range of 700 kilometres.

In his address, Hatami also stated that the domestically-built training jets, dubbed Yasin, A-90 and Fajr-3, are undergoing their final tests and will soon enter service. He said that Iran has begun the mass production of its first indigenous turbojet engine, dubbed Owj, which was unveiled in 2016.

Last week Israel's Defence Ministry announced it had unveiled its Arrow-2 missile defence system against long-range ballistic attacks which is said to be able to repel attacks from Iran, Lebanon and Gaza. After successful tests, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said: "Our elite technological unit ensures that we will always be one step ahead of our enemies."

Following the UAE's peace agreement with Israel, which was condemned by Tehran with President Rouhani describing it as a "huge mistake", one security analyst, Dr Theodore Karasik, told Arab News that Iranian missiles could hit the UAE in eight minutes".

READ: Iran launches underground ballistic missiles for the first time

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