Iran heralded the launch of a cruise missile production line — but experts said the fanfare might be overblown.
Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hussein Dehqan said at a ceremony Tuesday that the high-precision Nasr air-launched missile system will significantly upgrade the tactical power of Iranian forces. He said Iran also plans to fit the missile on drones in the future.
Military moves by the Islamic Republic can spark unease amongst Iran's neighbors — especially in wake of last month's nuclear deal.
The Nasr is actually a short-range anti-ship missile first unveiled in September 2013, according to Jeremy Binnie, Middle East editor with IHS Jane's Defense Weekly.
"The Iranians might call it a cruise missile, but it does not fit the standard definition of a cruise missile," he said. "It is arguably of little significance as the Iranians will struggle to get an aircraft close enough to launch a Nasr against a naval vessel."
He added: "The claim that it has now entered mass production rings a little hollow. Generally when they make such announcements they line up a load of missiles that have come off the production line, but we did not see this here."