Advertisement

Iran unveils new hypersonic missile ‘capable of beating Israeli defenses’

Iran unveils new hypersonic missile Fattah
Iran has been a major supplier of missiles to Hamas and its latest has a range of 869miles

Iran has unveiled a new hypersonic missile which it claims can fly 15 times faster than the speed of sound and defeat Israeli air defences.

The hypersonic Fattah II rocket – which means conqueror in Persian – is an updated version of the original Fattah that was announced in June with a range of 869miles (1,400km).

The main innovation of the missile is its ability to evade anti-aircraft fire.

It can do so, Tehran claims, because it is fitted with a hypersonic glide vehicle which detaches from the missile itself, and can make sharp manoeuvres to dodge conventional missile defences and travels at hypersonic speed to its target.

There has been no official response from the US or Israel to the development. The Pentagon has previously expressed scepticism at Iran’s hypersonic claims.

But Bradley Bowman, senior director at the Foundation for Dence of Democracies (FDD), said its missile programmes “are not simply for show” and should not be dismissed out of hand.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah and  the head of the corps' aerospace division General Amir Ali Hajizadeh inspects missiles
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has previously said it wants to increase missile range to 1,242 - ZUMA/SHUTTERSTOCK

“Tehran’s claims about new capabilities should be taken with a heavy grain of salt, but it would be a mistake to shrug at Iran’s growing missile capabilities,” he said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran uses ballistic missiles to attack its neighbours and US troops while proliferating some missiles or related technologies to Tehran’s terror proxies.”

Iran has been a major supplier of rockets and other arms to the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups, both of which have unleashed them on Israel since the Oct 7 attacks.

Tehran is also the main backer of Yemen’s Houthi rebels and various militia groups in Iraq whose attacks on American soldiers have increased since the war in Gaza began.

Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has previously said it intends to increase the range of its hypersonics from their current maximum of 869miles to 1,242miles (1,400km to 2,000km).

That would put the Islamic theocracy’s regional enemy Israel within range of the Ayatollahs’ rockets.

‘Should not be ignored’

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at FDD, said: “The move towards developing a hypersonic glide vehicle should not be ignored.”

“Iran has proven it has the capability and intent to develop a more lethal ballistic missile arsenal, one with projectiles it hopes will cause more headaches for American and allied missile defenses.”

United Nations restrictions limiting Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles expired in October, although it is believed Tehran had been ignoring them for some time.

Iran first claimed to have developed a hypersonic missile in November 2022.

China and Russia are the only countries believed to have deployed hypersonic missiles.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.