Iran Begins Production of Air-Defense Missile

Iran announced the development of a new, more advanced, anti-aircraft system, the defense minister said Sunday on national television.

Ahmad Vahidi said the new Mersad, or Ambush, air-defense system would be able to hit modern aircraft at low and medium altitudes.

Based on a photo released by Iran's Defense Ministry, the Mersad will launch Iran's Shahin missiles, a local version of the 1970s-era U.S.-manufactured Hawk missile. The Hawk missile has a range 15 miles with a 119-pound warhead and was sold the Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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