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Iran unveils new surface-to-air missile, radars

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran on Tuesday unveiled a new surface-to-air missile and two radar systems it claims will boost the country's defense capabilities.

Air defense chief Gen. Farzad Esmaili said the Talash-3, or Endeavor-3 missile will enable Iranian forces to "shoot down any hostile target," even at high altitudes. Speaking on state TV, he said the missile was successfully test-fired recently. He did not describe its range.

Tehran regularly announces military advances that cannot be independently verified.

The general also inaugurated two radar systems - Arash-2, tasked with detecting miniature drones at a distance of 150 kilometers (93 miles), and also Kayhan, which he said was capable of detecting cruise missiles and drones.

Another new system inaugurated on Tuesday enables Iran to automatically process information on civilian airliners using Iranian airspace.

The number of international civilian flights that pass through Iranian airspace has doubled in recent months, reaching some 900 over an average 24-hour period. The increase is likely a result of airlines changing routes to avoid nearby countries undergoing conflict such as Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

Iran launched a homegrown defense industry in 1992 that produces light and heavy weapons ranging from mortars to tanks and submarines. It has surface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), enough to reach Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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