Iran claims to have longer-range anti-ship ballistic missile

by Jeremy Binnie

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it launched ballistic missiles at a simulated naval target 1,800 km away as part of its Exercise ‘Great Prophet 15’ on 16 January.

An Iranian Ghadr medium-range ballistic missile is launched during Exercise ‘Great Prophet 15’. (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps)

An Iranian Ghadr medium-range ballistic missile is launched during Exercise ‘Great Prophet 15’. (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps)

“Today, our goal was to destroy the enemy fleet in the northern Indian Ocean at a distance of 1,800 km, when ballistic missiles were fired at this area,” said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force.

“It is usual to hit moving targets in the sea by low-speed cruise missiles, but using long-range missiles is a great defence breakthrough for us because we can hit moving targets in the ocean from the heart of our land,” IRGC commander Major General Hossein Salami was quoted as saying.

The IRGC released footage and photographs of six medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) being prepared and at least three being launched: a liquid-fuelled Ghadr, the Emad version with a manoeuvring re-entry vehicle, and a solid-propellant Sejjil. At least one impact with the sea was shown although it was unclear if a simulated target was actually hit.

Iran unveiled its first anti-ship ballistic missile in 2011 in the form of the Khalij Fars, which is based on the Fateh-110 solid-propellant tactical ballistic missile with a range of 200–300 km and uses an electro-optical sensor to guide itself towards its target.

Radar-guided and longer-range versions also derived from the Fateh-110 family were subsequently unveiled, most recently in September 2020 when the Zolfaghar Basir was claimed to have a range of 700 km.

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Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it launched ballistic missiles at a simulated nav...

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