An Iranian general on Tuesday announced the trial launch of a new ballistic missile designed for use against enemy naval assets, Reuters reported.
The ground-based weapon's flight took place under Iranian Defense Ministry auspices, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Majid Bokaei said in remarks reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency. The state-run news service referred to the armament as a ballistic missile.
"This new missile, which has been equipped with a surface-to-surface missile system, exits the atmosphere after being launched, re-enters it at high speed, and completely destroys the target vessel or warship," Bokaei said. "When this missile was tested, all the enemies' destroyers and ships retreated from near our borders."
The report did not specify the missile's maximum flight distance or the drill's timing.
Iran regularly declares advances in its arms capabilities; the validity of the claims can be hard to determine. The nation remains in a long standoff with the United States and other nations over suspicions that it seeks a nuclear-weapon capability.
"It might very well be a weapon with a certain capability but it is extremely hard to say. We always have to be aware of the propaganda value of all these claims," said Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. "I think in general Iran will have a difficult time to develop really advanced modern missiles ... Opponents are increasingly capable of, at least in theory, destroying these kinds of weapons before they are even being deployed."