Iran confirms successful marine cruise missile launch
TEHRAN – Iran has successfully test-fired its newest marine cruise missile in ongoing naval exercises in southern waters of the Persian Gulf, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said on Monday.
“The newest marine missile cruise, dubbed ‘Nasir’, was launched and hit the target successfully during the massive military drill in the country’s southern waters,” Dehqan was quoted as saying.
The minister did not give any more details.
The Iranian navy is staging its annual navy drills in an area of two million square kilometers, spanning the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, north of the Indian Ocean and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
Iran has developed homegrown military hardware over the past years, learning from a long war waged by Iraq in the 1980s, when the country ran on a shrinking storage of arms and equipment imported mainly from the U.S.
Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan says navy forces have successfully test-fired a marine missile cruise.
On Saturday, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Iran’s most advanced destroyer, Sahand, will be launched in the near future as the third home-grown watercraft.
Also, during the drills “Dehlaviyeh”, an advanced guided anti-ship missile system, was tested successfully.
Iran’s enhanced presence in the regional waters have brought about more secure marine routes, threatened by pirate attacks.
Now, Iranian frigates patrol in an area of 2,100,000 km2, according to Sayyari, with more than 44 flotilla of warships so far dispatched to high waters.
The missions have contributed particularly to a safe passage of upwards of 3,844 trade ships and tankers attacked by pirates, according to Sayyari.
However, there have been occasional incidents in the region between Iranian and U.S. navies.
In November 2016, a small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards vessel pointed its weapon at a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz, which U.S. Navy officials called "unsafe and unprofessional".