Iran claims it is about to deploy a new short-range missile defense system aimed at shooting down cruise missiles and is in the “design and production phase” of several other defensive systems.

Analysts say all this missile-rattling is intended to send a message to fellow Persian Gulf Arab states that harbor U.S. military facilities. –JCL


Iran, whose nuclear dispute with the West has raised the possibility of new regional conflict, has developed a short-range defense system to combat Cruise missiles, its defense minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“A new short range anti-Cruise defense system with the capability to fire 4,000 rounds of bullets per minute has been produced at the defense ministry and soon will be inaugurated,” Ahmad Vahidi said on semi-official Fars news agency.

“We are at the design and production phase of various defense systems in the short, medium and long-range categories,” he added, citing the Mersad air defense and Shahin missile defense systems.

Cruise missiles are guided missiles that operate at low level to evade radar detection. They can fly up to supersonic speeds carrying either conventional or nuclear warheads.

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