Iran has reportedly started putting its Qader stealth cruise missile into full-scale production and, already, the first examples have entered naval service.
Recently unveiled, the Qader (‘Capable', or ‘Able') is an indigenous weapon with a 124 mile range and it's got the strike capacity to disable targets at sea, including warships. Apparently, it produces such a low radar signal that it can slip under the net of the most advanced detection technologies in service today and, according to elements of the Iranian media, the Iranian Navy got its initial quota of Qaders on 28 September 2011.
The Qader's described as a truly versatile weapon - able to be fired from dry land, launched from platforms at sea or projected from combat aircraft. Its features are said to include anti-jamming radar technology and an autopilot component and it's designed to fly low and strike hard.
Qader Missile Enters Service
In a report on the Qader's missile entry into service, the Ahlul Bayt News Agency describes the comments made by top Iranian military officials, who say that Iran's now part of an elite group of nations with the expertise to manufacture weapons of this kind. They add that, regionally, Iran's got no competition at all in this regard.
Western powers have repeatedly expressed concern over Iran's claimed involvement in nuclear weapons production. Iran, in contrast, continues to allege that its uranium enrichment programme is a peaceful pursuit.
The Qader's entry-into-service coincided with an announcement on the planned deployment of Iranian naval forces in the Atlantic Ocean, with the Islamic Republic News Agency quoting Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari as having referred to a "powerful presence" set to be built up "near the United States borders."
Qader Stealth Cruise Missile
The Qader stealth cruise missile joins an expanding array of Iranian weapons that, as per previous Armed Forces International News coverage, includes the Shahab-3 missile.
"Today we are witnessing the equipping of the [Iranian Revolutionary] Guards navy and army navy with ample numbers of the Qader cruise missile", defence minister General Ahmad Vahidi said, in a statement published online.
"It has 200 km range and has ability to be launched quickly against warships and costal targets. It flies in low altitude, has high destructive power [and is] lightweight with high precision."
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