Iran Successfully Tests Solid Fuel Missile

Yoav Stern
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Yoav Stern

Iran announced yesterday that it has successfully tested a missile engine powered by solid fuel - something that would constitute a significant advance in the country's missile program, as solid fuel gives ballistic missiles greater accuracy.

Solid fuel would also enable Iran to mount its warheads on two-stage rockets, which would increase its missiles' range to more than 2,000 kilometers, surpassing the current limit of the Shihab-3 missile, for which the new engine is intended. Such rockets could also be used in Iran's space program.

In addition, solid fuel has greater longevity, and it allows missiles to be fired more rapidly, because they can be filled with fuel in advance. Liquid fuel, in contrast, must be put into a missile immediately before firing.

An announcement issued by Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani pronounced the test "a 100 percent success." However, he denied an earlier report by Iranian television that Iran had successfully tested a two-stage rocket - something that would enable it to threaten various locations in Europe.

Even without the new engine, the Shihab-3 can already threaten many parts of the Middle East, including Israel.

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