Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile on Sunday as a “provocative” attempt to launch a satellite into space ended in another embarrassing disaster.
The Zafar 1 communications satellite, launched from Imam Khomeini spaceport in Semnan province, plunged back to Earth after its Simorgh carrier rocket failed to reach orbit speed.
It was Iran’s fourth failed attempt to launch a satellite, including one that exploded on the launchpad.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Sunday that its new Raad-500 missile was powered by a “new generation” of engines.
However, like most of Iran’s “new” technology, the Raad is a development of an older model — the Fateh-110, a ballistic ground-to-ground missile unveiled in 2002. The main change is that the range has increased from 100 to 300km.
Unveiling the new missile and engine, IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami described them as “complicated achievements on the bleeding edge of global technology.”