Iran Test-fires Upgraded Missiles in Naval Drill Near Strait of Hormuz

Islamic Republic tests 'Raad' (Thunder) defense system and underwater torpedoes as part of its ongoing naval exercise.

Iran's navy says it has test-fired a range of weapons during ongoing maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil supply.

The Monday report by the official IRNA news agency quotes exercise spokesman Adm. Amir Rastgari as saying the Iranian-made air defense system Raad, or Thunder, was among the weapons tested.

Iran says the system fires missiles with a range of 50 kilometers capable of hitting targets at 22,000 meters. He said torpedoes and underwater and surface-to-surface rockets were also successfully tested.

The highly-publicized "Velayat 91" exercises are taking place across a wide area from the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil and gas shipping route, to the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean.

Naval commanders have made regular appearances on Iranian television since Friday saying the six-day drill would show how Iran could defend its territory.

"Today there are attacks from invading forces on our ports and coasts and engagement of them by marine units and special operations forces (from helicopters)," said commander Amir Rastegari, according to Fars news agency.
Diving teams were also practicing attacks on enemy vessels, Rastegari said.

Cyber-attack simulations and submarine and mine-laying exercises took place on Saturday, he said in a separate report on state news agency IRNA.

Israel has repeatedly threatened to launch strikes against Iran's nuclear program which many in the West fear is aimed at developing an atomic weapons capability.