Iran launched production of its most advanced cannon on Wednesday, state television reported.

"The cannon Fajr-27 has the capability of automatically firing 85 76-milimeter bullets per minute," Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, Iran's defense minister, told the broadcast.

He said the cannon has an aerial range of 23,000 feet and a 10.5-mile surface range.

Mohammad-Najjar said the gun could swiftly react against any surface or air strikes. Footage showed the minister inspecting the large cannon.

CountryWatch: Iran

During large-scale military maneuvers in August, Iran test-fired short range surface-to-surface and sub-to-surface missiles, a new air defense system, fighter planes, laser bombs and a 2,000-pound guided bomb.

After decades of relying on foreign weapons purchases, Iran now says it is increasingly self-sufficient in its military equipment, claiming it annually exports more than US$100 million worth of military equipment to more than 50 countries.

Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers and missiles. In 2005, the government said that it had begun producing torpedoes.

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