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Iran unveils first alleged hypersonic missile, giving it significant military edge

June 6, 2023 at 2:41 pm

Iran unveils the first “hypersonic” ballistic missile with a range of 1400 kilometers in Iran on June 06, 2023 [Sepah News/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

Iran has revealed its first hypersonic missile which can outpace missile defence systems and that will apparently give it a military edge against the West and the surrounding region, Iranian state media has announced.

At an unveiling ceremony today in the capital, Tehran, which was attended by President Ebrahim Raisi and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the ‘Fattah’ missile was presented and was visible to the public.

According to IRGC aerospace chief, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, quoted by state media, the Fattah missile “cannot be destroyed by any other missile due to how it moves in different directions and at different altitudes”.

With the name of the missile – translating roughly to “the opener” or “conqueror” – having been chosen by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself, the Fattah is able to travel at a speed of around Mach 12-13 (5,145 metres or 16,880 feet per second) and possesses a range of 1,400 kilometres (870 miles).

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It also has a moveable secondary nozzle and solid propellants that enable high manoeuvrability, and with the reported ability to move at over 10 times the speed of sound – far more than other hypersonic missiles – it can avoid destruction by defence systems currently known to exist, unlike ballistic missiles and can, instead, detonate those same systems.

The development of Iran’s first hypersonic missile was previously announced by Hajizadeh back in November during an event commemorating the death anniversary of Iranian missile pioneer, Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam.

On Monday last week, Hajizadeh was also cited by state media as telling an academic meeting that the soon-to-be-unveiled hypersonic missile had undergone and passed all tests, representing a “generational leap” for Iranian missile technology due to the ability to manoeuvre within and outside the earth’s atmosphere and penetrate any missile defence system.

The unveiling comes two weeks after Tehran revealed the completion and successful testing of its latest ballistic missile with a range of 2000 kilometres, causing worry amongst Western nations such as the United States and France, particularly amid ongoing nuclear talks.

The Fattah hypersonic missile’s unveiling and apparent abilities are set to give Iran a further military edge over most Western powers and countries within its own neighbourhood, with the only nations believed to possess and successfully test hypersonic missiles being the US, Russia, China and North Korea.

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