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Iran launches mass production of new air-to-air missiles

Fakour Missile in the Iranian Defense Ministry. April 15, 2017. (Tasnim News/WikiMedia Commons)
July 25, 2018

Monday marked the launch of Iran’s mass production of a domestically-produced air-to-air missile.

Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami inaugurated the mass production of a missile called Fakour, which is capable of attaching to any type of fighter jet, New China reported.

“Many countries just import the technology but cannot improve it to make new version of the missile according to their needs. However, Iran, as a missile producer, has the ability to do so,” Hatami said during a ceremony held in Tehran.

The Fakour missile is a medium-range missile that uses independent radar to intercept air-to-air targets. It is based on the United States’ AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. Iran unveiled the missile in 2017 and revealed successful test fires of the missile.

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The missile’s guidance system is some 30-percent smaller than the original platform. The latest version boasts an increased range of 15 percent due to reduced weight allowing for increased propellants. It is now capable of reaching targets at a distance of 220 kilometers, or 136 miles.

“The enemies imagine that they can deprive Iran of its interests and resources, but ignorant of the fact that Iran will resist any bully and sanction with all its power,” Hatami said.

The comment appeared to be directed at the United States. After President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran this past May, the U.S. stopped dealing with Iran, imposed hefty economic sanctions, and is urging other nations to stop the importation of Iranian oil.

“Any threat against the country will receive a proportional response,” Hatami warned on Monday of Iran’s defensive response, according to Mehr News Agency.

Hatami also noted: “The missile will be fired by fighters. With no doubts, inauguration of the production line can improve the combat capabilities of Iran’s army air force and will be an effective step to increase the power of deterrence and defense.”

In recent years, Iran has substantially increased its technology and manufacturing capabilities to improve military power.

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Hatami said: “With the efforts of Iranian experts and scientists of aerospace industry and despite of sanctions, as well as using domestic capacities and abilities, we are now inaugurating the production line of Fakour-90 missiles following the completion of designs and production levels and implementation of successful tests of the missile in last year.”

“The Fakour-90 missile is built based on operational needs and in cooperation with the Army Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It improves the combat ability of the air force. Fakour-90 is middle-range missile which is designed and built based on the latest world technology,” he continued.

“We are thankful to God Almighty for giving us the chance to see the mass production line of Fakour missile realized despite all sanctions,” Hatami added.

Iran continues to resist the sanctions and demands to halt nuclear weapons activities, instead issuing threats against the U.S.