Iran held a ceremony on 23 July to mark the start of mass production of the new Fakour long-range air-to-air missile, upgraded and reverse-engineered version of the US-made AIM-54 Phoenix.
The Tasnim News Agency reported that on Monday during a ceremony in Tehran, Brigadier General Amir Hatami inaugurated the production line of Fakour, saying it could be mounted on all types of fighter jets.
The Fakour is an Iranian air-to-air missile used on F-14 Tomcats fighter jets to intercept and destroy air-to-air targets. It is a local adaptation variant of US-made missile based on the AIM-54 Phoenix.
According to the local source, the Iranian variant boasts several improvements over the original platform including a superior guidance system, enhanced range and greater speed.
The new guidance system is approximately 30% smaller, and based on the reduced weight of the more modern systems and potential for added propellants the missile’s range can be estimated to have increased by approximately 15% relative to the original AIM-54 Phoenix, allowing it to hit targets at distances of 220km.
The minister highlighted Iran’s military preparedness and defense capabilities, stating that any threat against the country will receive a proportional response.
Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.