Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unveiled the “Fattah,” the regime’s first hypersonic missile, on Tuesday morning, Iranian state media announced.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami and other high-ranking officials. Later in the day, Iranian media published footage purporting to show a test launch of the missile.
According to Iranian media, the Fattah hypersonic missile has a range of 1,400 kilometers and hits speeds of Mach 13-15. The reports claimed that the missile is able to bypass and destroy air defense systems.
The Fattah features a moveable secondary nozzle and uses solid propellants, allowing it to reach high speeds and “perform various maneuvers inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere,” according to the Iranian Fars News Agency.
Footage reportedly of Iran’s “Fattah” hypersonic missile. (Credit: Student News Network)
Raisi claimed that the new missile “is a point of security and stable peace for the countries of the region.”
“Iran’s military, defense and missile power creates deterrence, of course, it creates deterrence not only from invasion but also from the thought of invasion,” added Raisi. “This missile power means that the region will be safe from evildoers and foreign aggression, so its message 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.”
During the unveiling ceremony, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, called the Fattah “a missile that is unique in the world.”
“The Fatah missile cannot be destroyed by any missile due to its movement in different directions and heights, because anti-missile missiles move according to a specific vector, which of course has a low speed,” claimed Hajizadeh.
“Our operations in this area will not end with the construction of this missile, because we will continue on this path so that no enemy even imagines attacking Iran.”
Hajizadeh added that it was Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who chose the name “Fattah” for the missile.
Iran claims the missile could hit Israel in 400 seconds
In November, Hajizadeh claimed that Iran had developed a new hypersonic missile that could reach Israel in 400 seconds.
At the time, Iran’s Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper published a threat in Hebrew on its front page, reading “400 seconds: General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force, said that Iran has obtained technology for hypersonic missiles.”
An article in the newspaper written by Hamza Pariyab, described as a defense expert, 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.”
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.
At an event in November of last year 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 at the time. “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.”
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.