Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Shahab-1, Shahab-2, Shahab-3 Missile ICBM

Iran claims to have developed at least four different liquid-propellant ballistic missile systems, the Shahab-1, Shahab-2, Shahab-3, and the Ghadr-1 Kavoshgar (which is also called the Shahab-3M). Three of these missiles, the Shahab-1, Shahab-2, and Shahab-3, do not appear to be truly indigenous, as their flight
characteristics are essentially identical to those of the North Korean SCUD-B, SCUD-C, and Nodong missiles respectively.

The Shahab-1 was first presented to the world by Iran as a new ballistic missile, but Marcus Schiller and Robert H. Schmucker have convincingly shown from analyses of publicly available videos of a Shahab-1 missile launch that the Shahab-1 is identical to the North Korean SCUD-B. They have also concluded that the Shahab-2 is identical to the North Korean SCUD-C, and the Shahab-3 to the North Korean Nodong. The Pakistani Ghauri-1 is also a Nodong missile purchased from North Korea. Hence the Shahab-1, Shahab-2, and Shahab-3 ballistic missiles were not developed indigenously by Iran.

 The Shahab-2, or SCUD-C, is simply a SCUD-B with "stretched" fuel tanks that can carry a warhead weighing roughly 500 kg to a range of roughly 550 km and a warhead weighing 300 kg to a range of about 650 km, roughly twice the range of the SCUD-B when it carries a 1,000 kg warhead. The North Korean
SCUD-C uses exactly the same rocket motors, turbopumps, fuel and oxidizer lines, airframe, and guidance system as the SCUD-B, but its fuel and oxidizer tanks are stretched so that it can carry about 13-14% more fuel and oxidizer than the SCUDB.

The Shahab-3 has been operationally deployed in small numbers since 2003, and Iran's efforts to improve its range and payload are exhibited in the Shahab-3M, which is derived from relatively modest modifications of the Shahab-3. Iran has also developed the Safir space launch vehicle (SLV), which was used to launch the Omid satellite into space on February 2, 2009. The Omid satellite weighs about 27 kg and was launched into a low-earth orbit with an apogee of about 320 km and a perigee of about 240 km. The Safir, which will be described and analyzed in greater detail later in this chapter, could eventually provide the basis for developing ballistic missiles of longer range and larger payload relative to those based solely on SCUD missile technologies. In this report we will refer to the missile that might be derived from the Safir SLV as the Safir missile.

Since the SCUD-C is designed to be as technologically close to the SCUD-B as possible, the warhead of the SCUD-C is lightened to about 300 to 500 kg in order to keep the overall weight of the system close to that of the original SCUD-B. A SCUD-B carrying a 300 kg warhead could reach a range of about 550 km.
Shahab-1 Missile
Ranges and payloads of the Shahab 1, Shahab 2, Shahab 3, and Shahab-3M (Ghadr-1 Kavoshgar) ballistic missiles. Assuming a payload of 1,000 kg, the estimated ranges of the four missiles are about 315, 375, 930, and 1100 km. The ranges of the Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 increase to about 450 and 550 km respectively if the warhead weight is reduced from 1,000 kg to 500 kg. The range of the Shahab-3M (Ghadr-1 Kavoshgar) increases by slightly more than 200 km if the warhead is lightened from 1,000 kg to 500 kg.
Shahab-2 Missile ASBM
Shahab-3 Missile ICBM


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