New Delhi: Developed by IRGC Aerospace Force specialists, the ‘Fattah’ hypersonic ballistic missile was unveiled in the presence of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
According to state media, the missile has a range of 1,400 kilometers (870 miles), can travel at speeds of up to Mach 15 (5,145 meters or 16,880 feet per second), and uses solid propellants to enable high maneuverability.
The name of the missile was reportedly chosen by the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and roughly translates to “to make victorious.”
The unveiling of Fattah is significant because Iran would become the first country in the entire Middle Eastern region to wield a hypersonic weapon that moves at more than five times the speed of sound.
In general, hypersonic missiles are known to be difficult to intercept due to exceptional maneuverability. According to Iranian media, the ‘Fattah’ missile additionally has stealth characteristics, allowing it to pass through radar systems.
The reports note that the missile can overcome various kinds of air defense systems by performing a variety of maneuvers in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere, thanks to its solid fuel propulsion system and second-stage mobile nozzle.
As soon as the missile was unveiled, it triggered an intense discussion among military watchers for its distinctive design. Instead of a high-lift HGV, it uses a speed-optimized MaRV with a thrust vectoring sustainer motor.
Speaking at the high voltage unveiling ceremony, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that after unveiling the ‘Fattah,’ Iran has become just the fourth country in the world to have this technology, without naming the said countries.
Global military experts have cast doubts on Iran’s claims about Fattah being a hypersonic missile, labeling it an Iranian attempt at information warfare. Moreover, the alleged interception of Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missile by a Patriot has further brought into suspicion the “invincibility” of hypersonic missiles.
A military expert from the region who did not wish to be quoted told EurAsian Times, “In the dearth of any substantial evidence, it is hard to believe that they have a sophisticated technology that even the most technologically advanced countries are struggling with. Tehran is bluffing or highly exaggerating its capabilities. It is more of an ‘info war’ just like we see between Russia and Ukraine.”
While Iranian officials are boasting that their brand-new hypersonic missile could breach all enemy defenses, Israel is aggressively promoting its David’s Sling air defense system to foreign customers after a recent successful combat performance demonstrated by the system.