Iran General NewsIran tests new solid fuel rocket with 2,000 km...

Iran tests new solid fuel rocket with 2,000 km range

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AFP: Iran has tested a new missile using solid-fuel technology that matches the more than 2,000 kilometre (1,280 mile) range of its Shahab-3 rocket, its defence minister was quoted as saying Tuesday. Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said the test, carried out on Sunday, was “100 percent successful.” Military experts contacted by AFP said the test, if true, was important for two reasons. AFP

TEHRAN – Iran has tested a new missile using solid-fuel technology that matches the more than 2,000 kilometre (1,280 mile) range of its Shahab-3 rocket, its defence minister was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said the test, carried out on Sunday, was “100 percent successful.”

Military experts contacted by AFP said the test, if true, was important for two reasons.

Firstly, in order to develop a missile with a range greater than 2,000 kilometres — in effect a two-stage rocket — a country needs to master the more complex solid fuel technology. This is because solid fuel is more stable inside the missile.

Secondly, solid fuel missiles of all ranges are more mobile and can be deployed far more quickly than liquid fuel devices, which need to filled up immediately before they are launched.

Iran has recently upgraded the Shahab-3 ballistic missile, believed to be based on a North Korean design, to have a range of what it says is at least 2,000 kilometres — putting arch-enemy Israel and US bases in the region well within range.

The Shahab-3 is based on liquid-fuel technology.

Tehran’s rapid progress on its ballistic missile programme is a major cause for concern among the international community, particularly Israel, which is already alarmed over Iran’s nuclear activities.

Iran insists it is not seeking to develop missiles with a longer range, and has denied allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The country says its missiles will only be tipped with conventional warheads.

But as one Western diplomat in Iran has remarked, “why develop a Rolls Royce to only deliver a pizza?”

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