Iran on Tuesday claimed it has joined the club of those very few nations which have hypersonic weapons in their arsenal. Currently, it’s believed only Russia, China, and the United States possess them.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attended a ceremony unveiling the new Iranian-made “Fattah” (literally, “Conqueror”) hypersonic missile in Tehran, wherein he touted “Today we feel that the deterrent power has been formed.” He said: “This power is an anchor of lasting security and peace for the regional countries.”
“We build missiles so that we do not suffer from aggression by enemies, and so that…enemies would not even think of an act of aggression against the Islamic Republic,” Raisi said, which comes after repeated warnings from Israel that it reserves the ‘right’ of a preemptive strike on Iran’s alleged nuclear program.
“Iran’s military, defence and missile power creates deterrence, of course, it creates deterrence not only from invasion but also from the thought of invasion,” Raisi added.
At the same unveiling ceremony, the head of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace program Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh hailed that the new advanced weapon will “usher in a new generation of missiles in Iran,” according to state-run IRNA.
Hajizadeh described the Fattah as having a range of up to 870 miles and that “there exists no system that can rival or counter this missile” – as it can also reach speeds of up to Mach 15, according to Iran’s claims.
While Iran released an official video showing the alleged hypersonic rocket in flight, other statements suggested it is likely still in the development phase and is not yet deployable as an active weapon in Iran’s arsenal. Russia, for example, spent years test-firing its hypersonics – but sometimes without success.
The video released by Tehran was filled with computer-generated graphics portion, raising doubts over whether the country has achieved hypersonic capability…
Iran has unveiled a home-grown hypersonic missile, which it says can beat all existing air defense systems.— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) June 6, 2023
The missile, dubbed Fattah, has a range of 1,400 kilometers and boasts high speed, accuracy and maneuverability as well as stealth capabilities. pic.twitter.com/zzGWtqOImc
Gen. Hajizadeh alluded to Iranian rocket scientists’ work, saying it “will not end with the construction of this missile,” and further that Iran’s military “will continue on this path so that no enemy even imagines attacking Iran.”
But again, some of the footage purporting to show the Fattah in a test launch and flight appears computer generated…
Yet still, Israel is likely watching these developments very closely and has long urged the West to act more forcefully not just against Iranian nuclear sites, but against its advanced and ballistic missile program as well.