Flashpoints

Amid tensions with US, Iran introduces two new missiles named for leaders killed in airstrike

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has unveiled two new missiles amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, according to Iran’s state TV.

State TV said officials unveiled the two new missiles on Thursday — National Defense Industry Day in Iran. They are named after top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed outside Baghdad’s international airport in a U.S. strike in January.

How would Iran's military fare in an armed conflict with the U.S.? In this Feb, 11, 2019, file photo, Iranian Revolutionary Guard members arrive for a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, at the Azadi, or Freedom, Square, in Tehran, Iran. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
What war with Iran could look like

Military Times interviewed more than a dozen military experts, including current and former U.S. military officials, about how a conflict might begin and how it could play out. This is what they said could happen:

The “Martyr Hajj Qassem” surface-to-surface ballistic missile has a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) range, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. State TV said the “Martyr Abu Mahdi” naval cruise missile has a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) range.

Those ranges, if accurate, would be able to strike U.S. bases across the Middle East, Iran already possess that capability with longer-range missiles but these offer a mid-range option between that nation’s existing arsenal that can also reach Israel as well as Sunni Arab nations.

Iranian ballistic missiles have been already been used in conflict with the U.S..

More than 100 U.S. service members stationed on two Iraqi airbases at al-Asad and Erbil were treated for traumatic brain injury after an Iranian ballistic missile barrage in response to the killing of Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

State TV said the “Martyr Hajj Qassem” missile was not intercepted by a defense system during a test.

Also on Thursday, Iran unveiled a fourth-generation light turbo-fan engine for its advanced drones.

Iran also inaugurated the production line of its domestically produced “Owj” engine for the Iranian-made twin-seat Kowsar fighter jet.

Iran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed forces, its space program and its nuclear efforts.

President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers, known in 2018, and tensions between the two countries have escalated since.

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