Fartashphoto's Blog

Iran’s Delivery Capabilities

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on September 5, 2010

Ukrainian arms dealers smuggled 18 nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran and China in 1999-2001, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general has said.

The Soviet-era Kh-55 missiles – also known as X-55s – have a maximum range of 2,500km (1,550 miles). They are launched by long-range bombers.

It added that the missiles were not exported with nuclear warheads. The Financial Times reports that the missiles could reach Japan if fired from mainland Asia or Israel if fired from Iran.

Ukraine reportedly had 1,612 of the missiles after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.The Kh-55, known in the West as the AS-15, is designed to carry a nuclear warhead with a 200-kiloton yield.

Islamic Republic of Iran with its efforts to expand its nuclear capabilities is making robust strides in developing ballistic missiles. The two programmes appear to be connected, with the aim of giving Iran the capability to deliver nuclear warheads well beyond its borders, though Iran constantly denies any interest in nuclear weapons and claims that its missiles are strictly defensive in nature.

Iran’s modifications of the North Korean No-dong missile, resulting in the longer range Ghadr-1, and its recent success in testing locally produced space-launch vehicles and two-stage solid-propellant missiles have heightened concerns.

Iran’s acquisition of ballistic-missile technologies began in the mid-1980s, when it purchased a limited number of liquid-fuelled, Scud-Bs from several foreign sources to satisfy an immediate wartime need. The perceived success of Scud-B missile attacks during its war with Iraq led Iran to purchase additional 300km-range Scud-Bs (Shahab-1), 500km-range Scud-Cs (Shahab-2), and longer-range No-dong (Shahab-3) missiles from North Korea, beginning in the late 1980s and extending to the mid-1990s. Based on the number of imports, it is estimated that Iran today has approximately 200–300 Shahab-1 and -2 missiles capable of reaching targets in neighboring countries. Iran can also hit targets about 900 km from its borders using the Shahab-3, which has a nominal payload of 1,000kg and was commissioned in mid-2003. A modified version of the Shahab-3, the Ghadr-1, which began flight tests in 2004, theoretically extends Iran’s reach to about 1,600km, but with a smaller, 750kg warhead. Information available within the public domain suggests that Iran has approximately six Shahab-3/Ghadr-1 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicles and between 12 and 18 Shahab-1/-2 TELs, although this number may be growing.

The possibility of chemical or biological warhead use cannot be excluded, although Iran is not known to possess such weapons and has forsworn them by treaty. Even if armed with chemical or biological warheads, however, the missiles could not reliably and predictably deliver enough warfare agents over a wide enough area to stop an adversary’s military operations. Moreover, Iran has too few missiles, TELs and trained launch crews to sustain the delivery of chemical agent to the battlefield for more than a few hours.

 Let me be clear, the threat of Iran’s nuclear program is not going away. Especially for those who prefer all of this is just a nightmare which they’re going to wake up from it anytime soon but the truth is we have reached to a point that Iran’s regime is capable of manufacturing various kinds of missiles. Iran has dismissed any limits on uranium enrichment also.


One Response

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  1. Rosemary said, on September 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Very chilling. Thank you for sharing the news. Keep up the great work. I’ve been seeing your name many times in Middle East Times twitter site. They do give you credit. Would you mind if I added you to my blogroll? Please let me know. Have a blessed day.

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