Iran heralded an anti-ship ballistic missile as a strategic game-changer for the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf regions. The missile has a range up to 700 km. and Iran’s Fars News says it is a “new long arm” for the Islamic Republic. It was showcased during an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps exhibit on the strength of the IRGC aerospace force. Iran has continued to show off new radar, drones and missiles in recent weeks in clear messaging that threatens the US and its allies in the region.
The Zulfiqar Basir missile appears to be named after the Zulifqar ballistic missile that has been used to strike land-based targets by Iran. Tehran has used long-range precision missiles to strike at ISIS, the US and Kurdish dissidents. Iran says it is similar to China’s DF-21D anti-ship missile. These kinds of missiles are said to be “carrier killers” and Iran’s Fars News played this up on Thursday.
It showed satellite images of US aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Oman to assert that Iran tracks the ships and could strike at them. The Islamic Republic recently launched a military satellite and has acquired new radar capabilities. Tehran also says it has extended the range of this missile from 300 km. to 700 km.
Iranian media points out that now, if there is a threat to Iran, it can threaten key US and other naval assets at sea. Tehran has already mined six ships in the last two years, and hijacked at least one other tanker, while boarding several other ships. Iran usually uses small IRGC fast boats to do this with helicopters. Now Iran’s missiles pose a longer-range threat, the country claims.
Iran boasts that its other missiles have ranges of up to 2,000 km. as it seeks to extend the range of all its missiles. “Our country’s missile capability, especially in the field of naval ballistic missiles, is one of the areas that has been developed with recent unveilings,” Fars News said.
Iran’s planners assess that naval threats to the country are increasing. Iran held a drill with the Russian and Chinese navies last year. Iran’s drones have harassed US ships. Now its missiles are in play as well, as it invests more heavily in military installations along the Gulf coast and adjacent to the Gulf of Oman. Tehran has also drilled to attack a mock US aircraft carrier over the last several years. It has made mistakes though, sometimes firing on its own ships.
Source » jpost