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13 February 2006
Iran launches new surface-to-air missile production

By Alon Ben-David JDW Correspondent
Tel Aviv

Iran launched a mass production line for a new man-portable low- to very-low-altitude surface-to-air missile called the Mithaq-2 on 6 February.

The shoulder-launched Mithaq-2, believed to be a short-range passive infra-red missile developed by the Iranian Defence Ministry's Shahid Kazemi Industrial Complex in Tehran, is an advanced version of the indigenously developed Mithaq-1 air-defence system.

The Iranian army, which operates older Soviet-made SA-7 Strela 2M and SA-14 Strela 3 man-portable air-defence systems, has been seeking to boost its air-defence capabilities as the dispute regarding the nuclear programme escalates. In anticipation of a potential airstrike on its nuclear facilities, the Iranians acquired 29 Russian Tor-M1 (SA-15 Guantlet) self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems in December 2005.

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