MP: Sejjil Evades Radar

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s newly test-fired missile is fully radar-evading and cannot be traced, an Iranian lawmaker said. Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh was critical of wrong analyses being made by foreign agents about Iranian newly-test fired missile.

He told the Islamic republic news agency that Indian and Pakistan missile programs can be observed by the big powers.

Underlining self-reliance in Sejjil Missile Program, he said at following the Iraqi-imposed war, the need for a defense strategy was felt and then was put on agenda.

“Today, we have reached such a level in the field that the enemies admit that Iran’s missiles are capable of dealing deterrent blows,” he noted.

He said that Iran has turned threats to opportunities.

Iran successfully test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missile with an extraordinary high capability Wednesday morning. The missile was launched from a site in western Iran near the Iraq border towards a target 800 km away.

Also earlier this week, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said that the newly-developed missile, Sejjil, has a longer range than Shahab and enjoys an improved technology.

“This missile is a two-stage weapon with two combined solid-fuel engines,” the minister told FNA, highlighting the differences between the two medium-range missiles.

Sejjil, which means “clay stone,” is a reference to a story in the Koran in which God’s birds use clay stones to fight against enemy troops riding elephants.

Prior to the last Wednesday’s test, Iran’s missile capability was measured by its medium-range ballistic missile known as the Shahab-3, which means “shooting star” in Farsi, with a range of at least 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) which was improved and promoted to 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) in 2005.

Video released by Iranian tv clearly shows a two-stage missile with a guidance system on the second stage and a triconic re-entry vehicle identical to that of the Shahab-3. However, the Sejjil’s diameter appears greater than the 1.25 m of the Shahab.

The new missile utilizes composite solid-propellant fuel and unlike the Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), which is launched only vertically, the Sejjil could be launched at a variable angle.

Iran’s Shahab-3 missile has been known to use liquid fuel. Missiles using liquid fuel are less accurate than those using solid fuel.

Najjar described Sejjil as a missile with completely new capabilities, reminding that Sejjil has a range of around 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles).

“Shahab 3 is a one stage missile, but Sejjil operates in two stages, Shahab 3 uses liquid fuel but Sejjil uses solid fuel and its range is much more than Shahab 3,” he explained.

The defense minister described Shahab 3 as a precise missile with a distinct mission.

He further hailed the rapid launch of the Sejjil missile, saying, “Sejjil is readied for operation very fast and this is one of its very good capabilities.”

Najjar rejected the US claims over Iran’s advancing missile might, saying that “military developments (of Iran) are only intended to ensure regional security.”

The successful launch of Sejjil is viewed as an achievement that military analysts believe marks a significant jump in Iran’s missile industry and technology.

“This is a whole new missile,” Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, told Jane’s . “Unlike other Iranian missiles, the Sejjil bears no resemblance to any North Korean, Russian, Chinese or Pakistani (missile technology). It demonstrates a significant leap in Iran’s missile capabilities.

“This missile places Iran in the realm of multiple-stage missiles, which means that they are on the way to having intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities,” he added.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran, to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and a fighter plane.

Military analysts believe that Sejjil shows the Islamic Republic’s capability to defend its soil.

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