Iran Unveils Its First Hypersonic Missile

by J.J Olawuyi

Tehran, Iran Iran has unveiled Fattah, the world’s first hypersonic missile, which it claims will give it a military advantage and can pierce missile defense systems.

President Ebrahim Raisi and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attended the unveiling ceremony, which was captured on camera by state media on Tuesday. The black missile, which was produced locally, was also visible.

According to state media, the missile has a range of 1,400 km (870 miles), can travel at speeds of up to Mach 15 (5,145 meters or 16,880 feet per second), has an adjustable secondary nozzle, and uses solid propellants for maximum manoeuvrability.

The moniker, which loosely translates to “the opener,” was chosen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, they claimed.

Because they can maneuver and travel at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound, hypersonic missiles are challenging for defense systems and radars to target.

Though little specifics about the armament are known, it is thought that only the United States, Russia, China, and North Korea have successfully tested hypersonic missiles.

At a ceremony commemorating the passing of Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, regarded as the founder of Iranian missile technology, last November, IRGC aerospace chief Amir Ali Hajizadeh shared news about the development of the hypersonic missile.

In 2011, a missile facility explosion also killed more than a dozen more IRGC members, including Moghaddam. While it was claimed that the explosion was an accident, several Western media outlets claimed that Israel was responsible.

As it can maneuver both within and outside of the earth’s atmosphere and bypass any missile defense system, the new missile, according to Hajizadeh in November, represents a “generational leap” for Iranian missile technology.

He was cited as saying on Tuesday that “the Fattah cannot be destroyed by any other missile due to the way it moves in different directions and at different altitudes.”

Iran denies developing nuclear weapons, but the West and Israel have repeatedly expressed concern over the country’s missile program since ballistic missiles could theoretically carry nuclear bombs.

A new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) that the IRGC successfully tested last month drew additional criticism from the West, with France alleging a violation of the UN resolution that supports the deadlocked 2015 nuclear agreement with major nations.

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