Iranian ballistic missile_311 reuters.
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
Iran unveiled underground ballistic missile silos for the first time on Monday
in a warning to the world of its ability to protect its missiles and secretly
store them in hidden locations throughout the country.
State TV broadcast
footage of several military officers touring an underground silo that was
holding a Shahab 3 ballistic missile. The missile has a range of 2,000
kilometers, putting Israel within its reach, but is powered by liquid fuel,
which means that it requires more considerable preparation immediately before
launch than a solid rocket.
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The unveiling of underground missile silos
was confirmation of Israeli and American warnings in recent years that Iran was
dispersing its missiles in silos, likely scattered throughout the
In the footage, a missile is shown being launched from inside
one of the silos, which has large metal doors that open on the surface with the
press of a button.
Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the
Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, said the decision to
release the video was likely an Iranian attempt to boost its deterrence
vis-à-vis Israel and the West.
“The silos look fairly sophisticated and
by unveiling them, the Iranians are trying to show the world that their missiles
are protected even if the country is attacked,” Inbar said. He added that other
countries with missile silos used them strictly for missiles equipped with
nuclear warheads and not for conventional ballistic missiles.
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silos could also be used to launch Iran’s longrange solid-fuel missile called
Sajjil, which is expected to be test-fired by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Corps (IRGC) during the 10 days of war games that began on Monday under the name
of “Great Prophet 6.”
Brig.-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC
Aerospace Force, was quoted in the Tehran Times
as saying that Iran obtained
missile silo technology 15 years ago and has since installed them throughout the
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