Iran says it has test-fired underwater missile | india | Hindustan Times
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Iran says it has test-fired underwater missile

The tests came during war games that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have been holding in Gulf and Arabian Sea.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 23:02 IST

Iran announced its second major new missile test within days, saying it has successfully fired a high-speed underwater missile capable of destroying huge warship and submarines.

The tests came during war games that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have been holding in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea since Friday at a time of increased tensions with the United States over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The Iranian-made underwater missile has a speed of 360 kilometres per hour, said Gen Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' Navy.

That would make it about three or four times faster than a torpedo and as fast as the world's fastest known underwater missile, the Russian-made V-111 Shkval, developed in 1995.

It was not immediately known if the Iranian missile, which has not yet been named, was based on the Shkval.

"It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," Fadavi said.

It was not immediately clear whether the ship-fired missile can carry a nuclear warhead.

The new weapon could raise concerns over Iran's naval power in the Gulf, where during the war with Iraq in the 1980s Iranian forces attacked oil tankers from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, prompting a massive US naval operation to protect them.

The US Navy's 5th Fleet is based on the tiny Arab island nation of Bahrain in the Gulf.