By David Daoud
The Defense Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Brigadier General Hussein Dahqan, revealed on Sunday Iran’s new surface-to-surface cruise missile, the “Soumar.”
Dahqan also pointed to the Defense Ministry’s new strategy of developing and producing smart weapons for Iran’s armed forces, and introducing a new generation of advanced weapons. He said that the long-range “Soumar” system was developed and produced by the Defense Ministry’s aerospace experts, according to Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar.
The “Soumar” has a range of 2500km, posing a serious threat to any vessels sailing in the Persian Gulf, particularly US naval forces, as well as an array of countries which are distant from Iran. Its design is based on a Soviet missile, similar to one stolen from Ukraine 12 years ago which made its way to Iran from the Chinese.
Dahqan added that producing and manufacturing this missile, which uses complex and advanced technology, was a large step forward in advancing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s deterrent capabilities.
According to Tal Inbar, the head of the Space Research Institute at the Fisher Strategic Studies Aerospace Center in Israel, the missile can be launched from planes, or equipped with a nuclear warhead, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. However, the original Ukrainian missiles on which the “Soumar” is based were not equipped with nuclear warheads, and could be launched from ships as well as submarines.
Dahqan also noted the delivery of large quantities of “Qadr” and “Qiyam” long-range ballistic missiles to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
These missiles, said Dahqan, are capable of destroying a wide array of targets in a range of complicated circumstances, given their high tactical capabilities, ability to remain over the field of battle for prolonged periods of time, and radar evasion. Regarding the “Soumar” Dahqan noted that it was more accurate and longer range because of the improvements in this missile over previous models in propulsion and control.
He also claimed that during the upcoming Persian year, which begins this year on March 21, the armed forces will be receiving a much higher quality of rockets, particularly when it comes to their range, accuracy and destructive capabilities. This will be an ongoing and permanent endeavor in the years to come, he added.
The IRGC’s aerospace commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said that the delivery of these missiles to the armed forces occurs naturally over the course of multiple intervals during the year. But this exceptional delivery of large amounts of “Qadr,” “Qiyam” and “Soumar” long-range missiles is meant as a joint message from the IRGC and the Defense Ministry to both friends and foes that these accomplishments are being made by Iranian experts in light of developing threats, indicating that these threats will not hamper the course of Iran’s defense programs.
There are far-reaching implications to the revelation of the “Soumar,” particularly since Iran has never confirmed in the past that it possesses missiles with a range of above 2000km, yet now it has revealed a missile with a 2500km range that is capable of reaching a series of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and others. Additionally, the missile’s range can be increased to 3000km with external fuel tanks.