Iran Says it is Close to Self-Sufficient in Anti-Ship Missiles

Published November 27th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Iran is close to being capable of independently manufacturing anti-ship cruise-type missiles, the official IRNA news agency reported. 

"Despite the allegations of American military officials, we have arrived on the verge of being self-sufficient in producing shore-to-sea cruise missiles," IRNA quoted Shamkhani as saying Sunday. 

The Iranian press has been filled with reports of US military leaders casting doubt on Iran's ability to manufacture such weapons. 

Iran said in late October that it had tested a new shore-to-sea missile, manufactured by the elite Revolutionary Guards, during military exercises in the Gulf. 

Shamkhani's remarks came as other military officials said that the Islamic republic is now manufacturing ground-to-air missiles with a range of 50 kilometers (30 miles). 

They said the weapons had been created by modifying ground-to-ground missiles. 

In the same seminar, the Army Chief Sunday called on Iran's armed forces to look out for any attack by NATO and Israeli troops in the Caspian Sea. 

"Israeli and NATO forces are in the Caspian Sea as prospecting for oil is in progress at that region," Major-General Mohammad Salimi said. 

Iran's Navy announced in September that it was about to launch the first locally built mini vessel capable of functioning as a rocket-launcher and destroyer. 

In August, Iran launched its first domestically manufactured mini submarine capable of transporting commandos and lay mines in the waters of the Persian Gulf off Bandar Abbas port. 

The submarine is capable of being used in various operations close to enemy territory such as making reconnaissance patrols and dropping commandos, planting mines and guiding projectiles. 

The bitter eight-year war with Iraq prompted Iran to opt for self-sufficiency in weapons manufacture – TEHRAN (AFP) 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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