Iran’s Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper published a threat in Hebrew on its front page on Monday, warning that a new Iranian hypersonic missile could reach Israel in 400 seconds.
“400 seconds: General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, said that Iran has obtained technology for hypersonic missiles,” wrote the newspaper, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
An article written by Hamza Pariyab, described as a defense expert, said the new missile was a “game changer,” as it can avoid most modern-day missile-defense systems.
The missile could be used to take out a country’s defense systems and open the way for a mass launch of drones and missiles, he wrote.
Pariyab also referenced a letter sent by Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the “father” of Iran’s missile program, to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which referenced the acquisition of a “quick response super-fast missile.”
The letter also referenced efforts to develop satellite launch vehicles that eventually led to the recent development of the Qaem-100 satellite launcher, Sobh-e-Sadegh reported.
In November 2011, Moghaddam was killed in an explosion that hit a missile base in Bidganeh, killing at least 17 members of the IRGC. While the explosion was initially reported as an accident, Western media, including the Guardian and Time magazine, reported that the incident was being blamed on the Mossad.
Iran announces development of hypersonic missile
At an event last Thursday marking the anniversary of the explosion, Hajizadeh said Iran had managed to develop an advanced hypersonic ballistic missile that can enter space and target missile-defense systems.
“This system has a very high speed and has the ability to maneuver in and out of the atmosphere,” he said. “Both defense systems that defend inside the atmosphere and extremely expensive systems that deal with missiles outside the atmosphere – this new missile of the Islamic Republic of Iran will pass all of them, and I don’t think that technology will be found that can deal with it for decades to come.”
"Both defense systems that defend inside the atmosphere and extremely expensive systems that deal with missiles outside the atmosphere, this new missile of the Islamic Republic of Iran will pass all of them and I don't think that technology will be found that can deal with it for decades to come."IRGC General Amir Ali Hajizadeh Hajizadeh
Hajizadeh did not provide more details about the alleged weapon, and it was unclear if it has been successfully tested.
What is a hypersonic missile?
Hypersonic missiles travel at a speed of Mach 5 or greater. While ICBMs can also reach that speed, they travel in a predictable arc, making them easier to confront. In contrast, hypersonic missiles are maneuverable, giving them the ability to dodge defense systems and evade radar.
The US, Russia, China and North Korea have successfully tested hypersonic missiles, although exact details about such weapons are still somewhat scant. Russia used a hypersonic weapon called the Kinzhal missile in a strike on a military fuel depot in Ukraine in March.