Iranian officials have presented what they described as the Islamic Republic’s first domestically produced hypersonic ballistic missile, capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound, amid heightened Western concerns about Tehran's missile capabilities and nuclear program.
Iranian state media published pictures of the missile named Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Persian, at a ceremony on June 6 that was attended by President Ebrahim Rahisi and commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC aerospace program, unveiled what appeared to be a model of the missile. He claimed the missile had a range of up to 1,400 kilometers, about mid-range for Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal.
“Today we feel that the deterrent power has been formed,” President Raisi said. “This power is an anchor of lasting security and peace for the regional countries.”
Hypersonic missiles can fly at least five times faster than the speed of sound and on a complex trajectory, which makes them difficult to intercept.
State TV said Iran's Fattah missile “can bypass the most advanced anti-ballistic missile systems of the United States and the Zionist regime, including Israel's Iron Dome."
Iranian officials did not release any footage of a successful launch of the Fattah.
Western military experts say that Iran’s officials sometimes give exaggerated figures for the capabilities of Iranian weapons.
The Islamic Republic has said it will further develop its defensive missile program despite US and European opposition.
China is believed to be pursuing hypersonic weapons, as is the United States. Russia claims to already be fielding the weapons and has said it used them on the battlefield in Ukraine. The Ukrainian air force last month said it had shot down a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile.