TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has developed a new 2,000-pound "smart" bomb, state-run television reported Thursday, the latest in a recent series of announcements heralding new weapons systems.
The guided bomb, named Qased or Messenger, can be deployed by Iran's aging U.S.-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets and will be officially unveiled next week, said the broadcast quoting a Defense Ministry statement.
Iran often announces new weapons for its arsenal, but the United States maintains that while the Islamic Republic has made some strides, many of these statements are exaggerations.
Iran launched its own arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq in response to a U.S.-led arms embargo. Since 1992, the country has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, and missiles.
Earlier this month, Iran said it had started industrial-scale production of its own fighter jet, known as Azarakhsh or Lightning, to upgrade its elderly air force, much of which dates from before the 1979 revolution.
Iran last year test-fired a "ultra-horizon" missile, two powerful torpedoes and a Fajr-e Darya missile capable of avoiding radars and hitting several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads during large military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.