Iran displays its arsenal of missiles.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iran claims to have developed its first “land-based cruise missile” with a range of 700 kilometers, a Revolutionary Guards commander told state media on Sunday.
According to Fars News Agency, the new missile, “Ya Ali,” is said to be capable of being fired from ground launchers as well as by fighter jets.
"It is a land-based cruise missile built by the IRGC Aerospace Force and another land-based cruise missile has also been built by the defense ministry," Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, told Fars.
Before the latest development, Iranian military officials said that its arsenal of cruise missiles reached a maximum range of 300 kilometers.
Two years ago, Iran unveiled new missile and artillery systems which officials said were aimed at sending a warning to those threatening the Islamic Republic.
Israel has threatened to strike Iran's nuclear sites if diplomacy and Western sanctions fail to stop the country's atomic program, which the United States and its allies believe is aimed at developing an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies.
The three domestically-built missile and artillery systems would be a significant boost to Iran's military defenses, said Farzad Esmaili, head of Iran's air defense headquarters.
"The low-altitude missile system 'Ya Zahra 3' is completely indigenous and Iranian and has been designed and produced to suit internal needs," Esmaili was quoted as saying by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).
He said the second missile system named 'Qader' was highly mobile and could be deployed in less than 30 minutes, while a new artillery system named 'Safat' could escape detection by enemy surveillance.
"Today and tomorrow, the most significant firing of missiles in the ... exercises will take place," Esmaili said, according to state television.
Western experts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, although there are concerns about its longer-range missiles.