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Middle East
Iran unveils new cruise missile
Islamic republic claims its new cruise missile can destroy warships.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2010 14:53 GMT
Iran has been manufacturing its own missiles for 20 years, and now has produced a cruise missile [AFP]

Iran's defence minister has announced a new production line of short-range cruise missiles which he says are highly accurate and capable of evading radar.

General Ahmad Vahidi told state news agency IRNA on Sunday that the Nasr 1 would be capable of destroying targets such as warships.

"The Nasr-1 missile is able to destroy 3,000-tonne targets," he said.

The missile is launched from the ground but will eventually be modified to fire from helicopters and submarines, he said.

Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in its military technology that cannot be independently verified.

The Islamic Republic began a military self-sufficiency programme in 1992, under which it produces a large range of weapons, including tanks, medium range missiles, jet fighters and torpedoes.

Missile development

Vahidi last month opened two other missile production plants, one making ground-to-air missiles dubbed Qaem and the other turning out surface-to-surface missiles named Toofan 5.

Iran's missile and space programmes have sparked mounting alarm in the West amid fears that a command of advanced ballistics technologies combined with the nuclear know-how acquired from its declared civilian programme may enable it to produce an atomic weapon.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons but has regularly boasted of having missiles that can target the only nuclear power in the Middle East - Israel.

In December it tested the Sejil 2 missile, describing it as a faster version of a medium-range missile that could allow it to strike Israel.

Source:
Agenices
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