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Senior IRGC cmdr.: Iran develops hypersonic ballistic missile capable of penetrating advanced air defense shields

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)

A high-ranking commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the country has developed a homegrown hypersonic ballistic missile which is capable of penetrating sophisticated aerial defense shields and striking designated targets.

“The missile has a high velocity and can maneuver both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere,” Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division, told reporters on Thursday.

“The new missile can pass through all missile defense systems, and I don't think that the technology capable of countering it will be achieved in the decades to come. It can target the enemy's anti-missile systems, and its production marks a huge leap in the development of a new generation of missiles,” Hajizadeh pointed out.

On Sunday, Iran's Defense Ministry unveiled the upgraded version of the domestically-designed and manufactured Bavar-373 (Belief-373) surface-to-air missile system, and inaugurated the production line of the long-range Sayad B4 missile.

"Bavar-373 system was initially capable of destroying targets at 200 kilometers and now the upgraded system, aiming to attack targets at very long ranges, [including] ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft, and bombers can destroy targets at 300 kilometers," Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani during the unveiling ceremony.

The missile system can engage up to six targets at a time and destroy them, he said, stressing that many technologically advanced countries aspire to possess such a system.

The Bavar-373 system detection radar was said to have increased from 350 to 450 kilometers, and the range of its engagement range has risen from 260 to 400 kilometers, the report added.

It also noted that the missile range has gone from 200 to 300 kilometers, and its engagement altitude has increased from 27 to 32 kilometers.

The report also announced the launching of the Sayad B4 missile’s production line (pictured below), saying the long-range missile, running on solid propellant, was operationally evaluated for the first time.

The Bavar-373 system was formally unveiled during a ceremony attended by former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on August 22, 2019. It was reported at the time that the road-mobile system can detect targets or planes at more than 300 kilometers, lock them at about 250 kilometers, and destroy them at 200 kilometers.

Iran for the first time employed the homegrown Bavar-373 missile defense system during a joint air defense exercise, codenamed ‘Guardians of Velayat Sky-99’, in late October 2020.

Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, saying the Islamic Republic’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

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