Iran announced building its first hypersonic missile this Tuesday, calling it ‘Fattah’ which means “conqueror” in Farsi.
According to Iranian state media, the Islamic Republic could successfully create its first hypersonic ballistic missile, unveiling the new military product this Tuesday and naming it Fattah, or “conqueror” in Farsi.
Presenting and demonstrating the new missile for the first time, Iran’s Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace program, said that the missile had a range of up to 1,400 kilometers (870 miles), describing the Fattah as “a missile that is unique in the world”.
“The precision-guided Fattah hypersonic missile has a range of 1,400 km and it is capable of penetrating all defense shields,” Hajizadeh, said Tuesday.
The Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, who attended the unveiling of the missile, hailed Iran’s ability in building high-tech weapons and claimed that the new missile “is able to reach Mach 15 in speed”, which is 15 times the speed of sound to bypass air defense systems. Raisi also claimed in a segment on Iranian state TV unveiling the Fattah that it was a deterrent that would be “a point of security and stable peace” for the region.
“This missile power means that the region will be safe from evildoers and foreign aggression,” he said, adding that the message of the new missile to the people of the region is “a message of security, and its message to those who are thinking of attacking Iran is that the Islamic Republic is a powerful country and its power aims to support the people of Iran and the oppressed people of the world”.
It was back in November last year that Iran announced it was on the way to building a hypersonic ballistic missile that could maneuver in and out of the atmosphere. “It can bypass the most advanced anti-ballistic missile systems of the US and the Zionist regime, including Israel’s Iron Dome,” Iran’s state TV said back then.
How significant is Iran’s new military achievement?
What makes Iran’s new achievement extraordinary is that only four other countries in the world have the technology to build hypersonic missiles. In September 2020, India reportedly became the fourth country to build and test hypersonic missiles.
China is believed to have built such weapons in 2014, as the US and Russia already had such weapons for decades, with the latter having said it has used them on the battlefield in Ukraine. Ukraine’s air force said in May it had shot down a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile with US Patriot air defenses.
Hypersonic missiles can fly at least at Mach 5 – five times the speed of sound – and their speed and their maneuverability are believed to make them difficult to intercept. To read between the lines, these high-speed weapons could pose crucial challenges to even the most advanced missile defense systems.
Iran also has cruise missiles such as Kh-55, an air-launched nuclear-capable weapon (up to 3,000 km), and the advanced anti-ship missile, the Khalid Farzh, (about 300 km) capable of carrying a 1,000 kg warhead. Despite US and European opposition, the Islamic Republic has said it will further develop its missile program and has asserted countless times that the missiles are only for defensive purposes only.