Iran displays home-grown air-defence systems amid regional tension

Arman is an anti-ballistic missile system, while Azarakhsh is a low-altitude air defence system

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Iran unveiled new military hardware on Saturday, including the locally made Arman anti-ballistic missile system and the Azarakhsh low-altitude air defence system.

The two vehicle-mounted systems were announced in the presence of Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, the official IRNA news agency reported.

It comes amid growing regional tension linked to the war in Gaza and attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“With the entry of new systems into the country's defence network, the air defence capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase significantly,” IRNA said.

It said the Arman missile system “can simultaneously confront six targets at a distance of 120km to 180km”.

Meanwhile the Azarakhsh missile system “can identify and destroy targets up to a range of 50km with four ready-to-fire missiles”.

In June 2023, Iran presented what officials described as its first domestically made hypersonic ballistic missile, named Fattah, with a range of 1,400km.

The latest show of military strength from Iran came after the US Central Command said on Thursday that it seized a weapons shipment from Iran last month, which had been destined for Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The Houthis have been carrying out attacks on vessels linked to the US, UK and Israel in the Red Sea in a show of solidarity with the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

Gaza has been under military assault by Israel since Hamas's attacks on Israel's south on October 7.

Updated: February 18, 2024, 8:30 AM