Iran now has a homegrown missile production line up and running, senior military officials have announced.
“Complete indigenous technology” is being used to mass-produce Sayyad 3 (‘Hunter’) missiles, explained Iranian Air Defence Commander, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili. His statement coincided with ever-increasing tensions between the Iran and the United States over the state of Tehran’s ballistic missile programme.
US President Donald Trump’s very recent sanctions imposition - dealt despite Iran mainly sticking to 2015’s pivotal nuclear agreement – isn’t believed to have improved relations one bit. This was just the latest in a long line of sanctions placed on Iran relating to its suspected ongoing nuclear activities. Prior to taking office, Trump had also famously promised to blow any Iranian Navy ships disrupting US Navy operations “out of the water”. Numerous US-Iranian naval encounters – like early January’s clash at sea – followed.
Sayyad 3 Production
The Sayyad 3 production line was inaugurated at the country’s Khatam al-Anbiya air defence base. Numerous officials were present to set it in motion, not least of which the Iranian Defence Minister, General Hossein Dehghan.
“Sayyad 3”, he said, “is designed based on the latest technologies in the world and is capable of combating various types of threats, including drones, stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, helicopters and various types of other aircraft with high manoeuvre, speed and altitude in their operational range”.
Sayyad 3’s own range is up to 120 kilometres and its flight ceiling is 27 kilometres. Reportedly able to track 30 targets simultaneously, the missile can allegedly engage 12 of them at the same time.
Sayyad 3 is believed to be an enhanced version of missile technology already in service. The Sayyad 2 that preceded it is based on the US-origin RIM-66 SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) that Iran procured pre-the 1979 Revolution. Seemingly, the Sayyad 2 and Sayyad 3 are designed to be deployed together, covering a variety of short-to-medium range targets between them.
The original RIM-66 (RIM-66A) was introduced in 1967. An updated version, the RIM-66C, followed 12 years later. Examples still equip Islamic Republic of Iran Navy warships: other present operators include the navies of Australia, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Turkey.
Main image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
RIM-66 launch image copyright US Navy – courtesy Wikimedia Commons