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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Iran unveils underground missile silos

From NYT:
Iran unveiled underground silos on Monday that would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack, marking the country’s latest show of force in the long standoff with the West over its nuclear program.

State television broadcast images of an unspecified number of silos deep underground, saying they held medium- and long-range missiles ready to hit distant targets. Subterranean silos are considered harder to destroy than surface installations, and Iran hailed them as a defensive asset meant to thwart attackers.

Col. Asghar Qelichkhani said the silos “function as a swift-reaction unit.” State TV quoted him as saying that the missiles were permanently in the vertical position and “ready to hit the predetermined targets.”

The silos were presented as Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards began 10 days of military exercises.

Western powers have long cited evidence that Iran was investigating the design of nuclear warheads for its missiles, a charge Tehran denies. It insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The state TV report showed footage of an underground launching pad for what it called the Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of about 1,250 miles. The report also showed a large metal roof opening atop the silo to allow the firing of the missile.

Here's the video of the silos as well as test firings of missiles:


Iran explicitly announced that the missiles can reach Israel, as well as American interests in the region.

(h/t David G)