Iran launches underground ballistic missiles for first time

Iran's Revolutionary Guards claim to have launched ballistic missiles from 'the depths of the Earth' today during the last day of military exercises near sensitive Gulf waters.

The launches come a day after the Guards struck a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier with volleys of missiles near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for a fifth of world oil output.

State television broadcast aerial footage of the latest daylight exercises in the desert showing bursts of flames, smoke and then dust before what appeared to be four projectiles climbing into the sky.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement on its Sepahnews website that it was 'the first time in the world' that such an exercise had been carried out.

The statement did not elaborate on the claim or provide any of the missiles' specifications.

It hailed 'the successful launch of ballistic missiles from the depths of the Earth in a completely camouflaged way' as an 'important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence organisations'.

The Guards said bombs were also released from Sukhoi Su-22 fighter-bombers to target predetermined positions on Bani Farur Island in Iran's territorial waters.

'These launches were carried out without the platform and usual equipment,' IRGC aerospace chief Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said on state television.

The exercises - dubbed 'Prophet Mohammed 14th' - began on Tuesday and come at a time of high tension between Tehran and Washington.

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