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New Missiles for the Tomcat (Iranian)

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  • New Missiles for the Tomcat (Iranian)

    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) will integrate the country's 'newly developed' Nasr (Victory) missile onto its Grumman F-14A Tomcat combat aircraft, state media announced in mid-February.

    The announcement, which was made by IRIAF Deputy Commander for Coordination Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh and reported by Press TV , was made to coincide with the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

    Speaking just days after Iran Aerospace Industries Organization delivered the first batch of Nasr missiles to the IRIAF on 9 February, Gen Nasirzadeh said that they will be integrated onto the service's F-14s 'soon', and that they can also be fitted to other aircraft types.

    Although deliveries of the air-launched Nasr are reported to have just commenced, the missile, apparently developed from the Chinese C-704, actually dates back to about 2005 in its surface-launched configuration. It was first shown as an air-launched system in September 2013, when it was pictured underslung a parked IRIAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980 to 1988 Iran-Iraq war.

    It was unclear from this 2013 event to what extent the air-launched missile was new. It could be that the missile shown carried by the F-4 is the improved Nasr-2, which has previously referenced in Iranian press reports but never officially acknowledged, and that it is this version the IRIAG began receiving on 9 February.

    In its baseline version, the Nasr is a medium-range radar-guided missile designed to strike maritime targets out to 35 km. Originally designed as a surface launched anti-ship weapon, the Nasr has been adapted to the air launched role to increase its operational range and effectiveness; the 200 km-rang Qader missile has been similarly adapted.

    It is not clear if the 'new' air-launched version remains purely an anti-ship missile, or if it has been given additional capabilities to attack land-based targets.