Iran's Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi says the country’s latest indigenous air-to-air missile, Fakour, has been successfully tested by Iranian forces. Farahi, who is also the director of the Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Organization, said on Sunday that the missile is launched from F14 fighter jets.
“Qader (Capable) and Nasr (Victory) air-launched cruise missiles will also be tested in the coming days,” the Iranian commander added.Over the past years, Iran has made important breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems. On January 1, Iranian forces tested the indigenous Nour (Light) surface-to-surface missile during the Velayat 91 naval maneuvers. Iran’s Navy launched the six-day naval drills on December 28 in order to display the country’s capabilities in defending its maritime borders. The latest version of the indigenous surface-to-air missile Ra’d (Thunder) was also test-fired on December 31, 2012. In November 2012, Iranian forces tested the indigenous mid-altitude missile system Hog, and the indigenous missile systems of Ya Zahra 3, Safat and Qader. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other nations, especially its neighbors, that its military might poses no threat to other countries, insisting that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence. Farahi added that Iran plans to build a satellite carrier, Safir (Ambassador) 1C, and also seeks to place either the Tolou (Dawn) or Zafar (Victory) satellites into orbit onboard the Simorgh (Phoenix) carrier in the first half of the next Iranian calendar year (starting March 21). “Today 48 countries have satellites, but only 24 countries are able to build satellites and only eight countries produce satellite carriers and Iran is among them,” Farahi said. Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The Islamic Republic sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using the domestically manufactured Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier. Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959. MYA/HMV/MA