Iran has showcased a new ballistic missile named ‘Kheibar’ that reportedly boasts a range of over 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) and carries a payload of 1.5 tons.
According to a report by Iran’s state-run media outlet IRNA, the rocket needs relatively little time to be prepared for launch, meaning that it can be used as both a strategic and a tactical weapon.
The country’s Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, who was present at the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, said that the missile is the result of a years-long endeavor by its Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). The official also noted that the ‘Kheibar’ rocket can penetrate enemy air defenses thanks to the radar-evading equipment on board.
Ashtiani pointed out that Tehran is “taking steps to equip the armed forces in various areas of missiles, drones, air defense,” with more weapons systems to be revealed to the public down the line.
Back in February, Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Force, announced that the Islamic Republic had at its disposal a cruise missile with a range of 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles). Iranian state TV reported at the time that this rocket is called ‘Paveh.’
Last fall, the same official claimed that Tehran had developed a hypersonic missile – which the US reacted to with skepticism.
It is believed that at present only a handful of nations, such as the US, China and Russia, have the necessary technology to build such advanced weapons.
Iran has been actively developing its missile capabilities since the 1980s. While the US and some European nations have repeatedly voiced concern over the Islamic Republic’s program, Tehran insists its efforts in the field are defensive in nature.
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