The event touted significant advancements in the country's aerospace technology; Tehran only unveiled its first hypersonic missile earlier this year.
The IRNA news agency reported that the new missile, dubbed Fattah 2 (the Persian word for “conqueror”), contains a hypersonic glider warhead and can maneuver at 15 times the speed of sound. Its hypersonic glide vehicle can detach from the missile and glide toward its target at hypersonic speeds.
Its ability to avoid ballistic missile defenses is supported by its sharp maneuvering capability. Ballistic missiles fly on trajectories, and anti-missile systems like Israel’s Arrow system are able to anticipate the path they will take and intercept them. Missiles that take more irregular flight paths are more challenging to intercept, although they also tend to have a shorter range.
Iran’s previous Fattah missile was said to have a range of 1,400 kilometers, but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has said it was seeking to improve its range to 2,000 kilometers, which would put Israel within its range.
Iran has not released any videos showing the missile being fired, and it is believed to be untested. It reportedly uses a liquid fuel rocket propellant, unlike the first version of the Fattah. This enables it to adjust its thrust force, optimizing its flight path and giving it better control over its speed as well as a greater range.
Khamenei also unveiled a drone called “Gaza” and said that Israel was experiencing a “defeat” in its war against Hamas. He also expressed his belief that “the Zionist regime is a symbol of racism” and that leaders of Western countries backing Israel’s actions in Gaza “also believe in racism and see nothing wrong with it.”
Other weapons displayed included an upgraded rendition of its 9-Dey missile defense system, new Shahed unmanned aerial vehicles, and a new Mehran missile defense system that can employ solid fuel missiles.
The display comes as Israel continues to intercept ballistic missiles being fired at it by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran. According to the IDF, its long-range Arrow air defense system has shot some of these missiles down.
Iran is only the fourth country in the world to use the technology in HGV missiles. It joins Russia, who has an HGV that can fly up to 27 times the speed of sound and has an explosive yield that can be as high as two megatons, which is 100 times the explosion that was generated when the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.
Another country that has HGV missiles is China, who put a hypersonic glider into service in 2019 that can travel up to 10 times faster than the speed of sound and is capable of carrying a nuclear charge.
The U.S., meanwhile, is preparing to launch its Dark Eagle Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon later this year after its original target to enter service in September was delayed.
Iran’s show of force comes as the U.S. has been moving military assets such as a nuclear submarine and carrier strike groups to the Middle East as the war between Israel and Hamas continues. Other groups supported by Iran, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, have been fighting with Israel as well in solidarity with Hamas.
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