Monday, December 15, 2008

Iran reports reforms in missile production

From Press TV:
Iran is set to revolutionize its Defense Ministry's missile production division in an effort to boost the country's defensive capabilities.

Head of the Aerospace Organization in the Defense Ministry, Brigadier General Mehdi Farahi, said Monday that the entire structure of the organization along with the company's policies will be renewed.

"The reforms are intended to promote efficiency and help fulfill the requirements of the country's Armed Forces," Brig. Gen. Farahi told Fars News Agency.

The organization has been actively manufacturing rocket artillery systems to help Iran's military self-sufficiency campaign directed at enhancing the country's defense capabilities in the face of war threats.

The newly-developed surface-to-surface Sejjil missile, the long-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile along with Zelzal and Fateh missiles are among the productions of the unit.

The Shahab-3 reportedly has a range of up to 1,250 miles (2000 kilometers) and is capable of carrying a 1,000-760 kilogram warhead.

This is while the solid-fuel, two-stage Sejjil missile with two engines, is capable of reaching a very high altitude and therefore has a longer range than that of the Shahab 3 model.

The report comes as Israeli sources had earlier expressed concern about Iran's progress on indigenous missile production.

A report by Haaretz claimed earlier in December that Iran has recently tripled its missile arsenal, alleging that "the number of Shihab-3 missiles in Iran's possession has gone from roughly 30 at the start of 2008 to more than 100."

Haaretz voiced Israeli concerns that "the Islamic Republic remains tireless in its efforts to step up defensive capabilities against Israel."

This is while Iranian military officials highlight the Islamic Republic's defensive doctrine and say that Iran would only use its domestically-manufactured missiles in the event of an attack on the country.

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