Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reacted defiantly to Tehran's unveiling of a hypersonic missile
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has dismissed Iran's announcement that it has developed its first hypersonic missile, saying his country will always be able to counter any threat.
"I hear our enemies boasting about weapons they are developing. To any such development, we have an even better response - whether it be on land, in the air, or in the maritime arena, including both defensive and offensive means," Gallant assured journalists during a visit to the military's Northern Command on Tuesday.
Iran presented its new weapon, which is called Fattah, during a high-profile event earlier in the day. It has a claimed range of 1,400km and speed of up to 15 times the speed of sound, or Mach-15. President Ebrahim Raisi hailed it for significantly boosting Iranian deterrence.
Hypersonic weapons are more difficult to intercept than their slower-moving counterparts, but achieving the necessary velocities during atmospheric flight is a significant technological challenge. Some military experts believe that existing anti-missile systems are incapable of reliably stopping hypersonic projectiles.
Iranian media described the Fattah as able to bypass most advanced US and Israeli defenses. Tehran first claimed to have made a breakthrough in hypersonic technology last November, when it announced that it was developing a long-range weapon that can maneuver in and out of the atmosphere.
While Iran touted the new systems as defensive, Gallant warned that Israel would deliver a "crushing blow" to its enemies if attacked. He was speaking as the Israeli military was conducting a two-week-long military exercise focused on simulating a multi-front war against Iran and its regional allies.