Sanctions forced Iran to develop missile technology, not combat aircrafts

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 7

By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:

Numerous sanctions on Iran have forced the country to develop its missile-manufacturing technology, instead of combat aircrafts, an expert on political and military issues, Hossein Aryan told Trend on March 7.

"The country's administration was forced to go this way because it is cheaper, compared to other military areas," the expert said. "Iran has made some effective steps in this regard, and the country's achievements in this sphere cannot be denied."

Aryan went on to add that earlier Iran started developing its missile-manufacturing technology with the help from some countries, including China and North Korea and then tried to achieve self-sufficiency on the issue.

"Iran has been paying attention to the missile-manufacturing technology for years, and the attention has increased since the Mohammad Khatami period of presidency," he said.

"Except for Israel, compared to other regional countries, Iran has the upper hand in terms of missile power" he said. "Iran's military strategy is a defensive one, and it is based on self-sufficiency in military industry and increasing deterrence power."

Aryan went on to say that considering extensive military industry, and years of efforts to develop this industry, one can say that Iran has made some significant achievements in its defense sector, in particular - in manufacturing short-range missiles.

Aside from short-range missiles, Iran also manufactures medium-range missiles (maximum range of 1000-3,500 km by int'l. standards), such as "Shahab-3", Ghadr-110", "Ashoura", and "Sejjil".

When asked about the specifics of Iranian ballistic missiles, Aryan noted that the country mostly releases upgraded versions of previously-made missiles (such as Shahab, Qiyam, Sejil, Qader), presenting them as new ones.

He then brought up an example, saying that a missile gets its navigation system changed, the fuel type gets changed, targeting accuracy gets improved, and the missile is given a new name.

"Iran has a "Fateh-110" ballistic missile, which is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile with at least 200 km range, and it is an updated version of "Zelzal-2" missile," Aryan said, adding that "Khalij Fars" is another ballistic missile of Iran, which is based on "Fateh-110", with an increased range of 300 km.

Aryan said that Iran from time to time unveils new achievements from its military sphere, specifically regarding the missiles, for domestic and foreign consumption.

"On one hand, Iran's administration tries to convince the country's citizens that there is progress and the defense power is increasing," he said. "On the other hand, the government warns the other countries, which have "a military option against Iran on the table", demonstrating its military power."

A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a ballistic flight path with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target.

Shorter range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth's atmosphere, while longer range ones are designed to spend some of their flight time above the atmosphere and are thus considered sub-orbital.

Iranian media outlets report that Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems in recent years. Tehran established an arms development program during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s to counter the weapons embargo imposed on it by the U.S. and its Western allies.

Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes. Iran also unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010.

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