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Iran Unveils New Surface-to-Air Missile09/02 06:30

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran on Tuesday unveiled a new surface-to-air missile 
and two radar systems it claims will boost the country's defense capabilities.

   Air defense chief Gen. Farzad Esmaili said the Talash-3, or Endeavor-3 
missile will enable Iranian forces to "shoot down any hostile target," even at 
high altitudes. Speaking on state TV, he said the missile was successfully 
test-fired recently. He did not describe its range.

   Tehran regularly announces military advances that cannot be independently 

   The general also inaugurated two radar systems --- Arash-2, tasked with 
detecting miniature drones at a distance of 150 kilometers (93 miles), and also 
Kayhan, which he said was capable of detecting cruise missiles and drones.

   Another new system inaugurated on Tuesday enables Iran to automatically 
process information on civilian airliners using Iranian airspace.

   The number of international civilian flights that pass through Iranian 
airspace has doubled in recent months, reaching some 900 over an average 
24-hour period. The increase is likely a result of airlines changing routes to 
avoid nearby countries undergoing conflict such as Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

   Iran launched a homegrown defense industry in 1992 that produces light and 
heavy weapons ranging from mortars to tanks and submarines. It has 
surface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 
miles), enough to reach Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.


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