Press TV – March 8, 2009
Iran has successfully armed some of its frontline fighter jets with domestically-manufactured long-range air-to-surface missiles.
Iran's Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that the country's military experts had installed long-range missiles on fighter aircraft and successfully test-fired the modified jets.
The missile is specifically designed to be launched from fighter aircraft and strike ground or naval targets.
The Iranian ministry said the missile has been manufactured to meet the potential naval threats against the country and that it is capable of hitting targets within a range of more that 110 kilometers at sea.
After it homes in on the target, the mounted missiles -- equipped with a radar system for automatic navigation and target recognition -- can be launched from outside the most intense air defense around the target location.
To achieve greater precision, Iranian experts have also equipped the modified fighter jets with a modern missile launch system.
Iran's increased efforts to master the missile technology comes only days after a US think-tank warned about the immediacy of an Israeli war on Iran.
A new "Presidential Task Force" report on Iran by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Russia's potential transfer of the S-300 air-defense systems to Iran "gives rise to the grave risk that Israel could feel compelled to act before the cost of doing so is too high."
Iran is believed to be seeking the controversial Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system S-300 to protect its nuclear facilities against a much-talked-about Israeli air strike.
However, as there has been no official decision on the delivery of the S-300 systems to Iran by Russia, Iranian military experts have taken a step to domestically manufacture a system similar to the anti-aircraft missile.
Earlier in February, Iran announced that it had started the production of a long-range anti-aircraft system the capacities of which called to mind the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system.
The top Iranian Commander Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari explained Iran's objective in seeking such state-of-the-art missile technology earlier on Wednesday.
"Iran's military doctrine is defensive," said Maj. Gen. Jafari, adding, "in the event of an enemy attack, the country will respond by using its powerful missiles."
Last updated 11/03/2009