Iran has developed the first national hypersonic ballistic missile, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said on Thursday.
“This new missile will pass all missile defense verification systems, and I don’t think there will be technologies capable of resisting it for decades,” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
The military official stressed that the new missile is a solution for the destruction of the enemy’s anti-missile systems. The development of such weapons represents a big leap in the country’s missile production, the commander said.
Iran has been arming its traditional military supplier, Russia. As per CNN reports, Iran is expected to provide 1,000 weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and attack drones.
The CNN report said that the consignment is being closely watched since it would mark the first time Iran would export highly advanced precision-guided missiles to Russia.
According to officials, the last consignment of weapons from Iran to Russia comprised approximately 450 drones. The Russians have already utilized these drones to conduct lethal strikes in Ukraine.
While it is unclear when the weapons will be delivered to Russia, officials anticipate the transaction to occur before the year’s end. In recent weeks, Kyiv and its Western allies have regularly blamed Moscow for attacking Ukraine using Iranian-made drones.
Ukraine decided to drastically scale back its diplomatic ties with Tehran in September over alleged military shipments to Moscow.
It was also reported that Russian forces brought Iranian instructors to Kherson and Crimea territories to launch Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.
Russian forces aim to assault Ukraine using inexpensive, disposable weaponry like Iranian drones that can threaten Ukrainians. The unmanned aerial vehicles have taken on a major role in the battlefield since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.
However, the use of drones by Russian forces significantly escalated after Moscow purchased Iranian drones.
In addition, recent Russian drone assaults on Ukraine’s energy and infrastructure appear to be aimed at cutting off Kyiv’s access to electricity and damaging the nation’s infrastructure before the arrival of the bitter winter.
On the other hand, the United States imposed sanctions on an airliner last month for its role in delivering Iranian Shahed drones, rebranded as Geran-2 in Russia.
According to the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the Treasury Department, the US is also prepared to “target producers and procurers” supporting the UAV program.
Ukraine Orders ‘Shahed Catcher’
While Russia continues to receive Iranian drones, Ukraine appears to be preparing to counter these unmanned aerial vehicles.
Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, on October 31, said that the funds raised from the sale of bracelets crafted in pre-war Azovstal steel were now used to purchase counter-drone systems for the Ukrainian government.
Fedorov withheld the number of what he referred to as the “Shahed Catcher” system ordered from the 200 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($5.4 million) sale.
Igor Lachenkov, a 23-year-old volunteer and Ukrainian blogger, previously told Forbes Ukraine that the NATO system costs about 50 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($1.35 million). He added that the technology “blinds” its intended target, exposing it to air defense.
The minister said that the Army of Drones project of the ministry had earned 1.9 billion Ukrainian hryvnias ($51 million) through contributions, allowing Kyiv to order 1,033 drones.
He also revealed that the country had ordered roughly 20 Polish FlyEye systems, AeroVironment Puma, and UAV Factory Penguin surveillance drones, critical for directing artillery fire.
Iranian drones, particularly Shahed-136, have offered Russia a significant advantage in Ukraine ever since they made their appearance in early September. Russian forces heavily assaulted Ukraine on October 10 and 11 with the help of the Shahed-136 drones.
Ukrainian forces gunned down the first Iranian drone on September 13 in the Kharkiv region. The Mohajer-6 strike drone was taken down on September 23 by Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners.
On November 1, the Ukrainian forces claimed that they had gunned down six Shahed-136 kamikaze drones that Russia had intended to use in an attack on Ukraine from the northeastern direction.
Besides this, the defense ministry of Ukraine said that much of the country’s network of power plants has reportedly been destroyed in the last two weeks by at least 300 Iranian Shahed 136 kamikaze drone attacks. This war also appears to be beneficial to the Iranian military sector.
Major General Yahia Rahim Safavi, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and senior military advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, recently claimed that at least 22 nations are interested in purchasing Iran’s military drones.