Iran Claims Newly Developed Hypersonic Missile is Capable of Penetrating All Air Defenses
Edited by: Fern Sidman
Iran has developed a hypersonic missile capable of penetrating all defense systems, General Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of its Revolutionary Guards aerospace unit, claimed on Thursday, as was reported by AFP.
Newsweek reported that one military weapons expert told them that the missile will have “serious implications on the balance of power, not only in the Middle East, but just generally in the world.”
Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles which can deliver nuclear weapons, can fly more than five times the speed of sound, as was reported by the AFP. Unlike ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles fly on a trajectory low in the atmosphere, potentially reaching targets more quickly.
“This hypersonic ballistic missile was developed to counter air defense shields,” Hajizadeh said, quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency.
“It will be able to breach all the systems of anti-missile defense,” said the general, adding that he believed it would take decades before a system capable of intercepting it is developed.
“This missile, which targets enemy anti-missile systems, represents a great generational leap in the field of missiles.”
The Iran state news agency Tasnim reported that Hajizadeh told media representatives of a “huge leap” in missile development and the weapon can target anti-missile systems. “I don’t think there will be technologies capable of countering it for decades,” said Hajizadeh, according to the Newsweek report.
Following initial denials it had supplied Moscow, with the UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Tehran admitted it had given Russia the drones before Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2002, according to the Newsweek report. The Shahed-136 or “kamikaze” drone which has damaged cities across Ukraine has an eight-foot wingspan and carries explosives in a warhead on its nose.
Newsweek also reported that the drone is difficult to detect on radar and can loiter over a target until instructed to attack, making it difficult for Ukraine’s air defenses to intercept. Iran has also given Russia Shahed 129s and Shahed 191s drones and has also supplied the Mohajer-6 drone which can carry four precision-guided missiles.
During Iran’s recent joint military exercises, dubbed Great Prophet 17, Hajizadeh boasted of how Iranian-made missiles can maneuver in a way that makes them impossible to intercept, Newsweek reported.
Iran has been developing missiles while under sanctions and had success with making Fateh ballistic missiles, which it has reportedly provided to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine, according to the Newsweek report.
The Washington Post reported on October 16 that Iran was preparing to ship missiles to Russia, but Tehran rejected the report as “completely false,” the AFP reported.
Last month, Israel said it had destroyed a manufacturing plant in Syria that was reportedly used to assemble drones that had been manufactured in Iran, as was reported by Newsweek.
The United States has repeatedly voiced concern that such launches could boost Iran’s ballistic missile technology, extending to the potential delivery of nuclear warheads, as was reported by the AFP.
In March, the US imposed sanctions on Iran’s missile-related activities.
It said in a statement at the time that the punitive measures followed “Iran’s recent missile attack on Arbil, Iraq, as well as missile attacks by Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” as was reported by the AFP.
The AFP also reported that North Korea’s test of a hypersonic missile last year sparked concerns about a race to acquire the technology.
Russia currently leads the race to develop the missiles, followed by China and the United States.
Both Iran and Russia are targeted by stringent sanctions — Iran after the US unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, and Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February, according to the report.
The two countries have responded to the sanctions by boosting cooperation in key areas to help prop up their economies.