TEHRAN - Iran on Wednesday announced it has started mass production of a marine artillery gun, the Fajr 27, which it said is capable of firing 85 76-millimeter shells a minute.
"The Fajr 27 addresses our naval forces' needs and is capable of hitting surface as well as aerial targets. Six years of work by our military specialists have borne fruit," Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.
"This weapon is capable of quickly reacting to any incoming aerial and surface attacks, has the capability to fire 85 rounds of 76 millimeter shells a minute and can be controlled automatically," he added on state television.
He added that the cannon, which can be mounted on a ship or dry land, has a range of 17 kilometers (10.5 miles).
Najjar said at the unveiling of the weapon's mass production plant that since 54 countries have this kind of artillery, its mass production will open up export markets for Iran.
The announcement is the latest of a string of military breakthroughs claimed by Iran over the past month and comes at a time of mounting tension with the West over the country's nuclear program.
In early September, Iran announced that it has developed a new war plane - named the "Azarakhsh" (Lightning) - which it describes as similar to the American F-5.
It also developed a new war plane named "Saegheh" (Thunder), it claims is similar to the American F-18 fighter jet. Experts say that the fuselage is that of a F-5 but the tail is modeled after F-18.
It also announced that it had successfully tested a 2,000-pound (about 900 kilogram) guided bomb named Ghased, or "Messenger".