Iran test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles this weekend into the Gulf of Oman — with one missile destroying a floating barge approximately 155 miles away, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the launch told Fox News.
The launches of the Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles were the first tests of the missile in two years, one official said. It was not immediately clear if this was the first successful test at sea — raising concerns for the U.S. Navy, which operates warships in the area.
Iran’s test came amid a worldwide focus on North Korea’s own test-launches of ballistic missiles.
According to one official, Iran launched the two short-range ballistic missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps bases in Bandar-e-Jask, in southeastern Iran. The first missile was fired on Saturday, but missed its target, though it landed “in the vicinity,” one official said. A day later, Iran made another attempt and was successful.
The Iranian Fateh-110 Mod 3 has a new “active seeker,” helping the missile locate ships at sea, according to one official.
“It’s a concern based on the range and that one of the missiles worked,” said one official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the launch.
Two years ago, Iranian cruise missiles destroyed a large barge designed to look like an American aircraft carrier. Iranian state-television broadcast the images publicly at the time.
The new Iranian short-range ballistic missile launches come a week after Iran successfully test-fired Russian surface-to-air missiles, part of the S-300 air defense system Russia sent to Iran recently.
According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Iran has conducted as many as 14 ballistic missile launches since the landmark nuclear agreement in July 2015.
A senior U.S. military official told Fox News that Iran had made great advances in its ballistic missile program over the past decade.
Late last month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Iran’s behavior had not changed since the White House put the Islamic Republic “on notice” following Iran’s successful intermediate-range ballistic missile test-launch in late January.