Iran Increases the Accuracy of Naval Missile
Iran yesterday revealed that its scientists have increased the precision of a key missile in its growing armoury of domestically developed weapons.
The Khalij Fars or Persian Gulf missile is one of the most potent weapons in Iran’s arsenal. According to Iranian media the Persian Gulf is a “supersonic projectile, which carries a 650-kilogram warhead, is immune to interception and features high-precision systems.”
First unveiled in February 2011, the missile’s accuracy has been steadily improved on the orders of the Ayatollah Khamenei. With an effective range of 300 kilometres the missile’s precision has been increased from striking a designated target within 30 meters, during a test in July 2012, to striking it within 8.5 meters more recently.
Experts have described the missile as a potential “game-changer” if used against U.S. aircraft carriers in the Straits of Hormuz. Coastal batteries of the missile have been optimised to fire three Khalij Fars at a time.
Indeed, the fact that Western navies are keeping a noticeable distance from Iranian coastal waters has been ascribed to presence of the missile near the Straits.
If the decision is ever made by the Iranian leadership to close the strategic Straits of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane through which much the West’s oil passes, coastal batteries of the missile would play a crucial role in ensuring the waterway stayed closed.
Iran has a number of other potent anti-ship missiles including the Noor, an upgraded version of the Chinese C-802 and the Qader, a cruise missile with a range of 200 kilometres. However, the fact that the Khalij Fars can be carried and fired from coastal based mobile launchers would make it all the more difficult to detect and destroy in the event of hostilities breaking out.