Iran announced the development of a new generation ballistic missile, the Kheibar.
The missile boasts a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and carries a warhead weighing 1,500 kilograms (3,307 pounds).
The Kheibar is an upgraded version of the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, initially revealed in September 2017, and has been hailed as a significant advancement in Iran’s missile capabilities. The Iranian Defense Ministry’s aerospace organization is responsible for Kheibar’s design, as reported by state media.
This missile was publicly introduced in the presence of Iran’s Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, a day following the commemoration of Khorramshahr city’s liberation, a significant event during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War.
It’s thought that Iran possesses the largest and most varied collection of ballistic and cruise missiles in the Middle East, which has often brought it into conflict with Western countries.
Key missiles in Iran’s arsenal include the Emad, Fajr-3, Ashoora, Ghadr-110, Khorramshahr, Sejjil, and Shahab-3.
The Kheibar is equipped with an advanced liquid fuel engine housed in a reduced-sized fuel tank, enhancing its tactical capabilities. It carries a warhead that is one of the largest and capable of carrying over a ton of munitions.
What sets Kheibar apart from its predecessors, according to military experts, is its precision in target detection, trajectory adjustment during the mid-flight phase beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and the deactivation of its guidance system upon re-entering the atmosphere to evade interception by air defenses.
The new missile’s increased range, decreased size, heightened accuracy, and enhanced guidance and control systems distinguish it from similar missiles in Iran and the region.
The United States and its allies frequently express concern about Iran’s missile proliferation, leading to the imposition of numerous sanctions aimed at Iran’s missile industry.
However, Iran maintains that its missile program is peaceful and non-negotiable, adhering to a 2,000 kilometers limit on its missiles to allay Western concerns.
Earlier in February, the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Gen. Hossein Salami, stated plans to develop supersonic and hypersonic cruise missiles. This statement followed the announcement of a new cruise missile, Paveh, with a range of 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles), a development accompanied by a subtle warning against Israel from top aerospace commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.
The Kheibar was unveiled two days after Israel’s top military general warned of potential “action” against Iran amidst growing tensions between the two rivals.