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Iran Unveils Homegrown Ballistic, Cruise Missiles

By Orkhan Jalilov August 21, 2020

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The Iranian ministry of defense unveiled the two home-grown "Martyr Haj Qasem" ballistic missile and "Martyr Abu-Mahdi" cruise missile on August 20, 2020. / MEHR News Agency

Iran has presented domestically-manufactured ballistic and cruise missiles amid US efforts to extend an arms embargo on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister, Brigadier-General Amir Hatami participated in the unveiling ceremony of the ballistic missile, known as “Haj Qasem,” which is named after Iran's late top general Qasem Soleimani and a cruise missile named “Abu Mahdi” through video conference. The presentation of both projectiles took place on the occasion of the country’s National Defense Industry Day, on August 20. The cruise missile bears the name of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi military commander that was assassinated along with General Qasem Soleimani and a number of their comrades in a US drone raid near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

“Haj Qasem” ballistic missile has a range of 1,400 kilometers and “Abu-Mahdi” cruise missile has a range of 1,000 kilometers. Iran has manufactured ballistic armament by improving the previous “Zolfaghar” missile with solid fuel. "Zolfoghar"'s 800-kilometer range was increased to 1,400 kilometers for "Haj Qasem" thanks to the upgrade.

In the ceremony, the mass production line of its first indigenous turbojet engine, dubbed Owj, has also launched. This turbojet engine was unveiled in 2016.

Also, a light-weight fourth-generation turbofan engine that is used in advanced drones was put on display. The engine will remarkably boost the Iranian aviation power and upgrade the engine of drones at least for one generation.

"Iranian defense industry, which is considered to be the fundamentals of military self-reliance and is one of the main requirements of the country's authority, is now a mature one with 770 various product groups that can supply the demand of the Iranian Armed Forces in wars," minister Hatami said.

Pointing to the inauguration of the production line of the domestically-manufactured Kowsar fighter jet, Hatami said the country will soon deliver another three of the jets to the country’s Air Force.

In late June, Iranian Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi announced that the country would soon start manufacturing a new class of supersonic cruise missiles, known as Talaeey-e, to add to its current arsenal of subsonic weapons.

Iran's unveiling of the missiles defies US demands for the country to halt its missile program, amid tensions are running high between the two countries.

US President Donald Trump ordered the commencement of the "snapback" provision of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We'll be doing a snapback," Trump said on August 15, the day after the UN Security Council rejected a US.-lead resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran. "You'll be watching it next week," he added.