Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has unveiled a new short-range ballistic missile it says can be powered by a new type of lightweight, composite engine capable of putting satellites into orbit.
In a Tehran ceremony attended by IRGC chief commander Hossein Salami and Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the new missile was touted as a leap forward for Iran's surface-to-surface weapons delivery capabilities. The Ra'ad 500, they said, is capable of penetrating anti-missile shields due to its small cross-section on the radar screen.
Boasting an engine block comprised of composite carbon fiber that can withstand extremely high temperatures, Iranian officials said the new missile has a range of more than 300 miles.
Another key feature, an adjustable nozzle, will also advance Iran's efforts to launch satellites with rockets operating on solid fuel, they said.
"Enjoying the technology of vectoring nozzles, the possibility of controlling solid fuel out of atmospheres for spacecraft, thrust rockets, and anti-shield missiles has been realized," Hajizadeh said.
Saturday, Khamenei urged Tehran's military to "become stronger" in order to "impede war" and put an end to threats.
"We don't seek to threaten anyone. Rather, our military power is for preventing the enemies' threats," he said. "If you are weak, the enemy will dare to hurt you. We should be strong in order to prevent a war."