Iran Equips Marine Forces with 'Cruise Missile'
Iran has armed its naval forces with a short range "cruise missile" able to hit targets in costal areas and warships within 125 m...
Iran has armed its naval forces with a short range "cruise missile" able to hit targets in costal areas and warships within 125 miles, the country's defense minister was quoted as saying on Sept. 28.
"Today we are witnessing the equipping of the Guards with ample numbers of the Qader cruise missile," Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said, quoted by his ministry's website referring to the elite Revolutionary Guards who are tasked with defending Iranian waters in the Gulf.
"It has a 200-kilometer 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," he said.
He added that it could be fired from the coast or from vessels of different classes, which substantially increases the operational ability of the forces.
The Qader missile was unveiled last month by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian officials dubbed it a "cruise missile" built entirely by local experts. The president said Iran's military arsenal was defensive, aimed at ensuring the country's "enemies do not dare attack."
Iran in the past two years has increased development, testing and unveiling of new "indigenous" military equipment, including missiles.
The Iranian navy recently boosted its presence in international waters by sending vessels into the Indian Ocean to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.
It also sent two ships into the Mediterranean for the first time in February, via the Suez Canal, to the annoyance of Israel and the United States.
Iran's navy commander, Adm. Habibollah Sayari, said on Sept. 27 that Iran was planning to deploy ships close to U.S. territorial waters without saying when.
Iranian naval forces are mainly composed of small units equipped with missiles in the Gulf and operating under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.