Iran’s hypersonic missiles make Israel flinch. Photo/Reuters
TEHERAN – In just 400 seconds, Iran was able to obliterate Israel. That’s what Iranian propaganda played with the successful development of hypersonic missiles. That makes Israel and the West very afraid of Tehran.
The hypersonic missile has a cruising range of up to 15 times the speed of sound. The missile is called Fattah, apparently named after one of the 99 Asmaul Husna in Islam which means “giver of victory”.
Here are 3 reasons why the United States (US) and Israel are very afraid of Iran’s hypersonic missiles.
1. Penetrating the Iron Dome
“The hypersonic missile has the ability to penetrate all air defense missile systems and detonate them,” said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRCG) air force, as reported by the Tasnim news agency.
The IRGC says the missile can move in and above Earth’s atmosphere and has a range of 1,400 kilometers. That would put Israel within reach. A hypersonic missile is a missile that can travel at speeds exceeding Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.
Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant was quick to dismiss the potential threat posed to his country. “I hear our enemies boast about the weapons they have developed,” he said.
“To such developments, we have a better response – whether it be on the ground, in the air or in the maritime arena, including defensive and offensive means.”
Iran’s claims have not been independently verified but experts say they follow real progress in missile development.
Uzi Rubin, founder and former director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization at the Israeli defense ministry has no reason to believe that the missile is not real and functional.
“The concept is realistic, elegant and workable,” he told CNN.
But he noted that it is not necessarily a major “revolution” in Tehran’s missile capabilities, adding that it is not the first hypersonic missile Iran has designed, even though it is a “revolutionary design.” Experts say that most ballistic missiles can travel at hypersonic speeds.
Alex Vatanka, director of the Iran Program at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, said that Iran has a “long history of making exaggerated claims” when it comes to missile development. “That said, Iran has made great progress in this sector and no one can deny that. Has Iran made it onto the A list among countries that can manufacture hypersonic missiles? That’s not the problem,” he said.