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Iran unveils Fattah-2 hypersonic cruise missile

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is shown a cutaway model of the second stage of the Fattah-2 hypersonic missile during a visit to the IRGCAF museum in Tehran on 19 November 2023. (

Iran unveiled its Fattah-2 hypersonic missile during a visit by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGCAF) museum in Tehran on 19 November.

Media coverage of the event showed the Fattah-2 consists of a ballistic missile motor that looks similar to the one used to power the Fattah missile that was unveiled in June and a re-entry vehicle (RV) that looks like it was inspired by Boeing's X-51 Waverider experimental hypersonic cruise missile, albeit without an air intake for a scramjet engine.

A cutaway model of the Fattah-2 RV shown to Khamenei had two tanks, one larger than the other, such as those used to hold the fuel and oxidiser in liquid-propellant ballistic missiles.

Tasnim News Agency reported that the RV's engine uses hydrazine fuel, which is typically used in hypergolic propellant combinations that spontaneously combust when mixed. Hypergolics are highly toxic and corrosive but are often used for spacecraft as their engines can be easily shutdown and restarted. While this engine would enable the Fattah-2 RV to accelerate outside the Earth's atmosphere, Tasnim reported that it can only steer when inside the atmosphere using its aerodynamic control surfaces.

The Iranian media reported that the Fattah-2 has a range of 1,500 km, not much farther than the 1,400 km of the Fattah, which has an RV powered by a solid-fuel rocket motor that has a movable nozzle that allows it to change course when outside the atmosphere to accurately help it evade air-defence systems.

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