"The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them," IRNA quoted Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan as saying.
The Emad appears to be a liquid-fuelled Shahab ("Meteor") variant, with claimed range of 2500 km, 100 meter CEP for accuracy and a 750 kg (1,653 pound) payload.
Iran's defense minister further stated IRGC-ASF ballistic missile force would take delivery of Emad MRBM some time in 2016.
COMMENTARY: Since the signing of JCPOA, a vocal group of Iranian lawmakers have been pressing for displays of Iranian ballistic missile technology. The political object advanced by these lawmakers has been to display Iran's sovereignty over matters of defense, regardless of continued sanctions.
Defense Minister Dehghan, while stating that ballistic missile drills and test launches are subject to defense requirements, nevertheless emphasized the sovereignty issue during today's MODAFL announcement, where he stated "To follow our defense programs, we don't ask permission from anyone...", meaning foreign powers.
Precision strikes by conventionally-armed ballistic missiles are capable of inflicting serious losses to an adversary during wartime,. A recent case in point: during the Yemen conflict on 04SEP15, an OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile hit an arms depot close to the positions of Pro-hadi forces, killing over 100 troops (52 UAE, 10 Saudi, 5 Bahraini, and an unspecified number of Yemeni troops loyal to the exiled prime minister).
During peacetime, a second-strike capability potentially rendered by precision-guided ballistic missiles are useful in serving as a deterrent against attack.
For a country like Iran-- with a relatively weak air force-- indigenously constructed ballistic missiles offer a more economical and effective means of strike delivery than otherwise possible, due to sanctions and factors related to hostile foreign power alliances.
Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) Emad ("Pillar") MRBM serial "FVEA001"
AIO Emad MRBM in firing position on transporter erector launcher (TEL)
AIO Emad MRBM airborne during claimed successful test flight
Video still of AIO Emad MRBM on TEL prior to launch
Video still detail of AIO Emad's numbered fins, on TEL prior to launch
Video still of AIO Emad's mounted cameras, providing imagery during flight
PRESS TV VIDEO:
Photos: Islamic Republic News Agency