06 June 2023

Iran unveils ‘hypersonic missile able to beat air defences’

06 June 2023

Iran claims it has created a hypersonic missile capable of travelling at 15 times the speed of sound.

Tuesday’s announcement comes as tensions remain high with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s state television said the missile — called Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Farsi — has a range of up to 870 miles.

The report also claimed without evidence the missile can pass through any regional missile defence system.

The TV broadcast what appeared to be a model of the missile being unveiled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a hardline paramilitary organisation in the Islamic Republic, before President Ebrahim Raisi.

The Guard already has a vast arsenal of ballistic missiles.

In November, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guard claimed Iran had created a hypersonic missile, without offering evidence to support it.

That claim came during the nationwide protests that followed the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country’s morality police.

Hypersonic weapons, which fly at speeds in excess of Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, could pose crucial challenges to missile defence systems because of their speed and manoeuvrability.

China is believed to be pursuing the weapons, as is America.

Russia claims to already be fielding the weapons and has said it used them on the battlefield in Ukraine.

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