Iran announces missile defense system

Defense minister says missiles have range of over 40 km, can pursue "enemy's airplanes, helicopters."

iran defense minister Najjar 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
iran defense minister Najjar 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran has started the production of a new ground-to-air missile system that is able to hit enemy aircraft at supersonic speed, Iranian media reported on Saturday. "The range of this defense system (missile) is more than 40 km and it is able to pursue and hit the enemy's airplanes and helicopters on a smart basis and at supersonic speed," Iran's Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying. According to Reuters, Iranian media reported that the production of the Shahin (hawk) missile defense system was one of the "most important and complex projects" undertaken by the country's defense industry since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran's Press TV said all parts of the Shahin missile were produced in the country, which is under UN and US sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. The announcement, which could be seen as an attempt by Teheran to deter Israel from striking Iran's nuclear facilities, comes less then a week before the country's June 12 elections.