With the unveiling of its new Fattah II hypersonic missile, Iran asserts that it can outrun Israeli air defenses by traveling at a speed fifteen times faster than sound. The rocket, which has a range of 869 miles (1,400km), is an upgraded variant of the original Fattah, which was disclosed in June. An innovative hypersonic glide vehicle detaches from the missile, allowing it to dodge anti-aircraft fire. This is the missile’s primary innovation. It can hit its target at hypersonic speed and perform nimble turns to evade conventional missile defenses.
Israel and the United States have remained silent in reaction to the news. The Pentagon has shown doubt towards Iran’s hypersonic assertions in the past. But, according to Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), this cannot be ignored.
Bowman warned that although one should treat assertions made by Tehran about new capabilities with skepticism, he also cautioned that dismissing Iran’s increasing missile capabilities would be a mistake.
Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist organizations that have been attacking Israel since the strikes on October 7, have received rockets and other weapons from Iran. Since the battle in Gaza started, Iran has been an increasing target for American forces due to its support for militia groups in Iraq and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran has already stated its intention to extend the range of its hypersonics from 869 miles to 1,242 miles (1,400km to 2,000km). Israel, a regional opponent of the Islamic theocracy, would thus be within missile range of the Ayatollahs.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior scholar at FDD, concurs with Bowman that a claim of this hypersonic cannot be ignore.
Although Tehran was reportedly defying the UN sanctions for some time, they were finally lifted in October, allowing Iran to resume construction of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. In November 2022, Iran first said that it had created the hypersonic missile.
According to experts, only Russia and China have fielded hypersonic missiles.