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Weapons

Iran successfully tests radar-guided anti-ship ballistic missile

10 March 2017

The Hormuz-1 and Hormuz-2 (behind) ASBMs were unveiled on 11 May 2014. (leader.ir)The Hormuz-1 and Hormuz-2 (behind) ASBMs were unveiled on 11 May 2014. (leader.ir)

Iranian and US reports have corroborated a successful test of Iran's new Hormuz-2 radar-guided anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) in early March.

Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on 9 March that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had carried out the test. "We fired the Hormuz-2 missile this week," it quoted Brigadier General Amir Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC Aerospace Forces, as saying. "It successfully destroyed a target within the range of 250 km."

When it was unveiled in May 2014, the Hormuz-2 appeared to be an active radar-guided variant of Iran's Khalij Fars ASBM, while the Hormuz-1 was said to be a passive radar-guided variant.

The Khalij Fars is a development of the Fateh-110 solid-fuel tactical ballistic missile fitted with an infrared seeker to enable it to home in on a ship's heat signature.

The radar-guided versions should be more capable than the Khalij Fars of locking on to ships that are obscured by cloud or haze, but the Hormuz-2 is potentially vulnerable to electronic warfare countermeasures.

Three days earlier, Fox News cited US officials as saying Iran carried out two ASBM tests on 4-5 March, with the second successfully hitting a floating platform 155 miles (250 km) away. One US official said the tests involved a "Fateh-110 Mod 3" with a "new active seeker".

The first ASBM was launched from the IRGC base in Bandar-e-Jask on the Gulf of Oman and landed "in the vicinity" of the floating platform it was aimed at on 4 March, and a second launched on the following day hit the target, the official said.

"It's a concern based on the range and that one of the missiles worked," one official was quoted as saying.

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