arrow launch 224 88 iai.
(photo credit: IAI [file])
The IDF downplayed Iran's testing of two new missiles over the weekend, saying that neither projectile - one underwater and one ground-to-ground - posed an immediate threat to Israel.
On Sunday, Iran announced its second test of a new missile in the past week, saying it had successfully fired a high-speed underwater missile capable of destroying submarines and large warships. The deputy head of the Iranian Navy, Gen. Ali Fadavi, said the missile was the fastest underwater projectile in the world and was three to four times faster than an ordinary torpedo. It was not immediately known whether the missile, which had yet to be named, could carry a nuclear warhead.
"It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines," Fadavi told state-run television. "Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," he said.
An Israeli defense source told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the missile was not yet operational and that Iran had conducted the test "to flex its muscles" in the face of international pressure to suspend its nuclear program. The missile, the source said, was based on Russian technology and, while it was indeed a fast underwater missile, it did not pose an immediate threat to Israeli submarines.
The underwater trial followed an Iranian missile test conducted on Friday as part of a military exercise involving tens of thousands of troops in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Iran said it test-fired the Fajr-3 missile that, officials said, could avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads. The missile, Iranian officials said, could not be intercepted by anti-missile defense systems like Israel's Arrow 2.
Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin told Reuters that pictures of the missile shown on Iran television did not the match the description of a missile that could avoid radar. "They could be bluffing," said Rubin - the former director of the Arrow program.
Last month, a high-ranking IDF officer told the Post that the Arrow was capable of intercepting and destroying any missiles fired by Teheran. "We will shoot all of them down," the officer said.
AP contributed to the report.
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