Skip to comments.Iran Is Building Its Missile Force
Posted on 03/12/2006 4:01:17 PM PST by Jim Robinson
North Korea, China and Russia Help Tehran
Iranian missile makers are busy these days, and it does not bode well for the West.
Iran recently test-fired its new Shahab-4 long-range missile. The Shahab-4 is being touted inside Tehran as a satellite launch vehicle. Yet observations of Iranian missile tests show it to be a new long-range weapon capable of striking all of Europe and most of Asia.
The development of the Shahab-4 was denied by Tehran several times. The recent missile test shows that statements made by Iranian officials were false. Last year the official line from Tehran was the Shahab-4 did not exist and would not be built.
"Iran does not have any plan to build a Shahab-4. Instead we are optimizing the Shahab-3," stated Hossein Dehqan, the deputy to Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani
The move by Tehran, in light of recent developments in nuclear weapons technology, has made several European capitals nervous. The Shahab-4 is quite capable of carrying enough payload to deliver an atomic bomb onto Paris, London or Berlin.
In addition, Iran has increased production of its Shahab-3 missile. It is estimated that Iran has nearly 100 Shahab-3 missiles. Iranian missile makers were producing at least one Shahab-3 a month.
Now satellite and intelligence information shows that Tehran has increased production to six or seven a month.
The original copies of the Shahab-3 were exported by North Korea to Iran after being developed by Pyongyang, with extensive assistance from Beijing.
Iran purchased the Shahab using North Korean technology and No-Dong parts in order to construct its force of missiles. North Korean engineers are currently working inside Iran on both its missile force as well as assisting in the Iranian effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
The upgraded Shahab-3 was flight-tested four times by the Iranian missile forces between July and October 2004. The U.S. Air Force Defense Support Program (DSP) missile warning satellite and the U.S.A.F Cobra Ball surveillance aircraft monitored the flight tests. In addition, Israeli surveillance aircraft also closely monitored the Iranian launches.
The improved Shahab-3 missile flew at ranges of 930 to 1,240 miles and demonstrated accuracy never seen before by the No-Dong class of missile. The improved Shahab-3 is nearly 60 feet long and reportedly carries 15 percent more propellant than the standard North Korean design.
The new Iranian warhead design is considered nuclear capable, enabling the Shahab-3 missile to carrying atomic bombs that can fuse during re-entry and air burst at accurate altitudes above its intended target.
The Iranian missile has also been improved with what appears to be advanced Chinese nose cone and re-entry vehicle designs. The Shahab-3 now sports a bulbous nose cone system, and the flight tests indicated that the simulated warhead carried advanced navigation avionics and re-entry control systems for improved accuracy.
The Bush administration has imposed sanctions against several Chinese companies that are reportedly involved in the upgrade of the Iranian Shahab-3 missile. The Chinese firms are accused of providing the avionics and re-entry control packages now in place on the improved Iranian missile.
The Shahab-3 is capable of carrying a one metric ton warhead, more than enough to accommodate a nuclear or chemical weapon.
Tehran announced that the Shahab-3's main target is Israel. Six Shahab-3 missiles were put on display in September during a parade in Tehran celebrating the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. One of the missiles carried a banner declaring "We will wipe Israel off the map."
There are doubts that Iran would explode nuclear or chemical warheads over Israel. First, most of the casualties would be Israeli Muslims and Tehran would lose most of its support in the Middle East. Secondly, Israel can retaliate with its own nuclear weapons.
However, the new Shahab-3 is accurate enough to carry a conventional warhead to its intended target. The Chinese missile technology, adopted from U.S. exports during the Clinton administration, enables the Shahab-3 missile to be targeted against the Israeli Jewish population.
The new conventional attack capability may explain Tehran's expanded missile production. The Israeli Arrow defense can stop some Shahab-3 missiles if fired in small numbers ,but a mass attack with dozens of missiles would get through and kill many of its intended victims.
Israel would be hard pressed to retaliate against a conventional attack. Air strikes against Iran would be difficult considering both distance and the recently improved Iranian air defenses. Conventional cruise missile attacks from Israeli submarines would also encounter the new Russian-made anti-air missile systems installed around Tehran.
Time to take out Iran.
Bush's Fault! Everything else is these day so we might as well blame this on him too.
Well played Bernie Schwartz.. hope you and Loral are proud!
There's a real newsflash for ya.
"The recent missile test shows that statements made by Iranian officials were false"
followed by, "Our nuclear power is only for peaceful means"
Maybe a special exhibit in the Clinton Liberry?
I wouldn't be surprised to hear of an Israeli strike anytime soon
The crackpots running Iran are a serious problem. And I cannot think of anyone who I'd rather have as President dealing with this threat than George W. Bush.
HERE is a rough estimate of what we're looking at.
The Shahab-4 is similar in terms of launch weight to the Soviet SS-18 which has a range of around 5000 nm and a payload of 7-8000 kg. The Iranians have a way to go to catch up with Soviet technology but it doesn't mean they aren't trying.
I have a feeling the plan has already been drawn up. All we're waiting for now is the execution.
Or our troops in Iraq.
Iran Stepping Up Plans for Shahab Missiles
As Iran pursues a nuclear program the West fears is aimed at producing bombs, Tehran also appears to be stepping up development of missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads.
A covert Iranian program run by people closely linked to Iran's military includes plans to arm its Shahab-3 missiles, which experts believe have a maximum range of around 2,000 km (1,240 miles), with nuclear warheads.
An Iranian official, who asked not to be named, denied the charge. "The Shahab missiles are intended to deliver mail and packages to distant locations like Europe and Israel," said the official. "We are dissatisfied with the current delivery services. FedEx, DHL and UPS are too slow and unreliable. The Shahab will shave days off transit times, ensuring that our packages arrive more promptly at their destinations."
Iran has repeatedly warned it would not hesitate to deploy the Shahab-3 missiles, if commercial services cannot cut delivery times down to 30 minutes or less.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, an Iranian exile who heads a think-tank in Washington, told Reuters Tehran had sharply accelerated production of Shahab-3 missiles to around 90 a year from 15-20.
"As our economy grows, we must upgrade our package delivery system if we want to have a significant impact in world trade," said the unnamed Iranian official.
read more at...
Very well researched. Thanks for posting this data on the Iranian threat.
Misery loves company and reports like this make me miserable. BTTT
More Iran stuff
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