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Pics: Iran unveils what it claims to be the nation’s first hypersonic missile

Iran's flag (Dreamstime/TNS)
June 06, 2023

The Iranian military claims it has followed through on promises made last November to build a hypersonic missile with the introduction of “Fattah,” which translates to “Conqueror,” on Tuesday. 

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was present to watch the unveiling. The missile is claimed to have a range of 870 miles (1,400km), a speed of 15,000 km/per hour (Mach 13-15) and the ability to avoid air defense. 

Iranian state media tweeted images from the reveal. 

To be classified as hypersonic, a missile must be capable of reaching speeds of Mach 5, approximately five times the speed of sound. If Iran’s claims of Fattah’s abilities are true, the missile can obtain speeds up to 15 times the speed of sound.

According to AP, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace program, said “There exists no system that can rival or counter this missile.”

The missile appears to have a moving head, which would indicate the flight path could be altered once launched.  

According to The Guardian, “Fattah” isn’t currently viewed by President Raisi as an offensive weapon development, but rather a measure to ensure peace and security for Iran. 

READ MORE: Pentagon admits falling behind China on hypersonic missiles as China completes high-altitude spy drone

“This missile power means the region will be safe from evildoers and foreign aggression,” Raisi said. “So its message to the people of the region is one of security, and its message to those who are thinking of attacking Iran is that the Islamic Republic is a powerful country and its power aims to support the people of Iran and the oppressed people of the world.” 

While the missile itself has not been tested, ground tests of the engine have reportedly been conducted. Hypersonic missiles are an emerging concern in military warfare advances. The speed at which these missiles are capable of traveling limit the air defense capabilities of many global military forces. 

China, Brazil, Iran, India, North Korea, Russia, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United States have all developed or are engaged in developing at least one model of hypersonic missile. 

The rapid advancement of military technology has spurned some world leaders to call for a governing treaty over the use of hypersonic weapons. Currently, there is no treaty in place regarding the use of hypersonic weaponry. 

In 2019, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs published a study regarding the potential harms of hypersonic weapons development suggesting banning or treaty moderation for countries that had developed the missiles.