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Iran Unveils New Ballistic Missile With 300-Mile Range

Iran unveiled a new short-range ballistic missile on Feb. 9, adding to its arsenal of missiles—the greatest in the Middle East—which it relies on for military muscle.

The Raad-500 missile was announced by Irans Revolutionary Guards media, as officials said that a satellite named Victory had failed to reach orbit.

Irans latest home-grown Raad-500 missile has almost double the range—310 miles—of a similar missile, the Fatah-110, according to the military.

The cousin of the Fatah-110, the Fatah-330, also with a 310-mile range, is one of the two missile-types believed to be used in the January attack on U.S. troops at the Al-Assad base in Iraq. That missile attack was retaliation for the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 by the U.S. military.

Irans military ambitions are currently clipped by financial constraints and sanctions. Unable to buy the latest military tech from around the world, it primarily relies on proxies, “hybrid warfare,” naval power, and missile defense, according to an unclassified Pentagon report published in November 2019. The Pentagon keeps a weather eye on Irans own missile and rocket development programs, wary of the possibility that the technology could be adapted to carry nuclear warheads.

Iran denies that it has ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.

Its space program is of particular concern since the technology needed to hoist a satellite into space could potentially be converted for use in long-range ballistic missiles.

On Feb. 9, the domestically made Zafar satellite (Farsi for “Victory”) fell short of reaching orbit. It was the third consecutive launch failure since the start of 2019. No Iranian satellite has successfully reached orbit in the past four years.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
This Feb. 4, 2020, satellite image shows activity at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Irans Semnan province. An Iranian rocket failed to put a satellite into orbit on Feb. 9, 2020. (Maxar Technologies via AP)

Officials told state media that the satellite was “successfully” launched and went “90 percent of the way,” reaching an altitude of 335 miles before losing speed in its final moments.

Iran already has the largest fleet of conventional missiles in the Middle East, which is expected to continuing growing in number and accuracy, according to the Pentagon.

The new missile has engines made of composite materials lighter than on earlier steel models, extending the range, according to Iran. It also contains that same terminal precision capability demonstrated during the attack on the U.S. air base in January, according to

The Epoch Times

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