Iran Unveils Hypersonic Missile, Long Range Drone, Mobile Air Defense

Modified version of the Shahed-136 drone was also unveiled at the event
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 09:39 AM, November 20, 2023
  • 661
Iran Unveils Hypersonic Missile, Long Range Drone, Mobile Air Defense
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei examines new weapons, Nov.19, 2023 @Iranian state media

Iran exhibited new weapons, including a hypersonic cruise missile and a mobile defense system, during an aerospace exhibition attended by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday.

The event, held at the Ashura Aerospace University of Science and Technology in Tehran, showcased the "Fattah-2" hypersonic cruise missile, "Mehran" mobile defense system, "9th of Dey" upgraded system, and "Shahed-147" drone.

Iran, now one of the four countries globally possessing hypersonic missile technology, introduced the "Fattah" hypersonic ballistic missile in early June.

Iran Unveils Hypersonic Missile, Long Range Drone, Mobile Air Defense
Latest Iranian weapons showcased at Ashura Aerospace University of Science and Technology in Tehran, Nov. 19, 2023 @Iranian state media

With a range of 1,400 kilometers and a speed of Mach 13-15, the missile is designed to penetrate and evade all anti-missile defense systems, Iranian media reported.

IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh emphasized that the "Fattah" cannot be countered by any defense system, as its movement in various directions and heights makes it immune to interception.

Hajizadeh confirmed in late June that the range of the hypersonic ballistic missile could be increased to 2,000 kilometers.

Iran Unveils Hypersonic Missile, Long Range Drone, Mobile Air Defense
Shahed-238 loitering munition @Iranian state media

Shahed-238

The exhibition featured the Shahed-238, a modified version of the Shahed-136 drone, showcased in three variants with distinct guidance systems. Alongside the traditional model equipped with an inertial navigation system and GPS, there were versions incorporating infrared/optical and, possibly, radar guidance systems.

The infrared/optical-guided variant is designed for precision strikes on heat-contrast targets, particularly vital military assets in the enemy's rear. The drone with a radar homing head functions akin to anti-radiation missiles, targeting search radar emissions to neutralize and suppress enemy air defense systems.

All three drones have a unique black color, potentially indicating the use of radio-absorbing materials, although this remains unconfirmed. Notably, the updated drones exhibit construction changes compared to the prototype, where the optical sensor was previously positioned under the fuselage.

Details on the technical specifications of the Shahed-238 are undisclosed, with emphasis on a high-speed jet engine that may incur higher costs. While a prototype launch from a moving vehicle was demonstrated, the drones are expected to maintain the capability for stationary platform launches using solid fuel boosters, consistent with the Shahed-136.

The earlier prototype with an optical guidance system required manual operation, limiting range and necessitating repeaters at the target. However, the showcased drone variants, equipped with homing heads, appear capable of autonomously targeting objectives.

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