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Iran Starts Production Line for Missile07/22 10:36

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian state TV is reporting the inauguration of a 
production line for a new version of an air defense missile.

   The Saturday report said the missile dubbed Sayyad-3 is an upgrade to 
previous versions of the missile. Sayyad means "hunter" in Farsi.

   The country's air defense chief, Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili, said during a 
ceremony that the missile is "a completely indigenous technology."

   Iran occasionally announces production of sophisticated homegrown weapons 
that cannot be independently verified.

   Iran announced in December it test-fired Sayyad-3. Its range is 120 
kilometers (some 75 miles) and is capable of hitting targets at altitudes of up 
to 27 kilometers (17 miles).

   In 1992 Iran began a military self-sufficiency program under which it 
produces mortars to missiles and tanks to submarines.


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