Iran Test-Fires New Air-to-Air Missile

News Brief – Feb 10, 2013

Iran has successfully test-fired its latest air-to-air missile, said the country’s Deputy Defence Minister Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi.
The domestically designed and manufactured Fakour 90 was launched from an F-14 fighter jet, successfully hitting the mock target, Iranian officials said.
The missile is the latest in a series of new military projects unveiled by Iran in its drive to develop an independent defence industry. Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution the West had supplied Iran with most of its weapons, often the most up to date at the time.
However, following the overthrow of the Shah a weapons embargo was imposed, forcing Iran to launch its own indigenous defence industry.
“Qader (Capable) and Nasr (Victor) air-launched cruise missiles will also be tested in the coming days,” said Farahi, who is also the director of Iran’s Aerospace Organisation.
Meanwhile, Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi says the Islamic Republic is producing more drones capable of carrying air-to-air missiles.
“Our newest combat drone with the capability of launching air-to-air missiles is in its final stages of production and will be unveiled in future. Today, we are producing more than 20 models of drones in the country in different sectors of reconnaissance and combat, some of which have high flight endurance,” said Vahidi.
He added: “Our reconnaissance drones are able to take the clearest of pictures of the enemies’ measures and movements by flying over their positions.” Iran is also planning to unveil a new long-range strategic drone in May, officials say.
Iran has been steadily strengthening its military arsenal as controversy has mounted over its nuclear programme. In recent years it has unveiled locally developed anti-aircraft missiles, tanks, submarines, frigates and combat aircraft.
Although no hard evidence has been produced, fears have been voiced in the West that Iran could launch a nuclear weapons program.
Iran insists it has no such ambitions and says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
Together with the ongoing controversy there has been speculation that the U.S. or Israel might launch military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent, or at least delay its development of nuclear weapons. However, as well as fielding conventional new weapons, Iran has demonstrated its readiness to defend its nuclear sites in a series of military drills.
The Islamic Republic’s naval forces also recently held a drill in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, warnings “foreign forces” which had allegedly tried to spy on Iranian facilities.
During the naval drill, Iran test-fired its Nour surface-to-surface missile. Days before the launch, another surface-to-air missile named Raad was tested. Iran claims all the tests were successful.

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