Sunday, October 13, 2013

IRGC clarifies ballistic missile range

IRGC-ASF Sejjil type MRBM 

According to FARS News Agency:
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in a statement on Saturday rejected media reports claiming that Iran has developed missiles which could reach targets 12,000 km in distance, stressing that the maximum range of Iran's missiles is 2,000 km.
"Some media have made a mistake when quoting a part of the remarks of the IRGC Aerospace Force Commander (Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh) about IRGC's missiles and said their range is 12000 kilometers," the statement issued by the IRGC's Public Relations said on Saturday.
"Actually, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has pointed to the IRGC Aerospace Force's defensive capabilities, and said 'at present, the range of our long-range missiles is 2,000km and the reason is that our enemies are within this range ... and they are not much worth to be targetted by costly missiles'," continued the statement.
This writer could not find the Western media report specifically citing a 12,000 km range, however the Iranians might generally be referring to ICBM ranges capable of hitting the United States. This potential capability is based upon speculation as to the ultimate intentions of Simorgh and Sepehr IRILV projects.

This isn't the first time the Iranians have denied development of an ICBM; they did so also during the previous administration.

The Fars article identified three IRGC-ASF ballistic missiles with a range of 2000 km: Shahab-3, Ghadr-F and Sejjil-1/2, the latter cited as a "third generation" MRBM of slightly longer range.


Anonymous said...

Trust me Amir Ali Hajizadeh,the enemies of the regime that you stand for are much closer than you think.

Nader Uskowi said...

This is what Gen. Hajizadeh was reported as saying: “We were able to send a satellite into orbit, because we have this technology. But since Iran's enemies are not far from the border, we do not consider it necessary to face high costs and build such missiles.”

And Fars News Agency was actually the original source of that quotation. Now the same agency is saying “some media” have made a mistake!!

Where did the reference to ICBM technology come from? Hajizadeh’s reference to Iran’s capability to build a missile to place a satellite into orbit; and his qualification that building such missiles (for military purposes) was too costly and no need for it as the “enemies are not far from the border.”

Now the new quote by Fars: (our enemies) “are not much worth to be targeted by costly missiles.” Whatever that means!

The more advanced ballistic missiles are designed to have nuclear warheads. What is not cost effective, Gen. Hajizadeh should have said, is to use these missiles for conventional deterrent

Piruz Mollazadeh said...

I wonder how much the payload for the Sejjil-2 is.

Yossarian said...

It is cost effective, when your only real opponent is the United States. Fielding a few hundred Migs or JF-17's against the U.S military is pointless. They will simply be shot down. Fielding a few thousand ballistic missiles with conventional warheads of varying capabilities allows one both a deterrence, and a very real ability to hit back.

I do not see which "advanced" missiles you are talking about being designed specifically for nuclear warheads, since the point is basically mute. 155mm artillery shells can be equipped with a nuclear package. The U.S designed a glorified rocket propelled grenade to fire a sub-kiloton charge back in the early sixties.

If anything, Iran's miscalculation in all of this, is that they are NOT planning on building or utilizing nuclear weapons as an ultimate deterrence to any foreign attack. Rather, they simply took the poor man's route, and substituted a rocket force for an air force.

As for a reference to an ICBM...The U.S has been claiming through the media that the Iranians have been building an "ICBM" since the 90's, and most of it appears to be a pipe dream, such as the Shahab-6 and such nonsense. Any fool knows that a satellite launch ability is at the vary least a precursor to an ICBM, if one so chooses. Hence, why the discussion was most likely even brought up.

As of now, I see zero evidence the IRI has spent a penny on developing an ICBM. It would be both pointless and useless to the doctrine in any conflict with the U.S.

Yossarian said...

Somewhere around 1,000 pounds probably, giving into the fact that it has steerable re-entry and most likely decoys included. A basic early model Shahab-3 should have about twice the payload, but nowhere near the accuracy or survivability.

Nader Uskowi said...

The discussion was not about artillery shells, but missiles. Ballistic missiles, and specifically the ICBMs, the ones Gen. Hajizadeh was referring to in his discussion of missiles capable of placing satellites in orbit, are the advanced ones. They are designed to carry nuclear warheads, not TNT, if they were to act as credible deterrent force.

I guess your discussion is with Gen. Hajizadeh and his not-so-intelligent comments on ICBM capability of the IRGC aerospace command.

Anonymous said...

Let's be real Yossarian, Iranian ballistic missiles will be swatted and drop like flies, by the Patriot-3 and the Iron Dome. Iranian Ballistic Missile Force is a credible threat to other developing countries that do not have advanced up-to-date SAM systems (e.g. Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan etc). The technological gap is so great between US/Israeli/GCC hardware and antiquated Iranian weaponry that it will be a cake walk for the US/Israel/GCC. No one in the region was as powerful as Iraq in 1990-91 (4th largest military and alot more toys than Iran has today + same capability in their airforce minus the F-14.) and yet the Iraqis failed monumentally in making any negative impact on the coalition. They were unable to retaliate effectively in any way, shape, or form because they were totally outclassed in terms of technology and training, unless you count setting your own Oil Fields on fire as retaliation. What Iran has today in its ballistic missile arsenal is just marginally better than what Iraq had, qualitatively speaking, but as a whole, ballistic missiles are near worthless and won't give Iran the edge in a fight, unless they are equipped with nuclear warheads with large yields. Also, be aware that the artillery as a platform was developed to mainly fire conventional shells over a relatively short distance (anywhere from a few km up to 40-50km) and the small nature of the shell and firing mechanism ensures an acceptable CEP. Ballistic missiles were designed to reach anywhere from 300km to several thousands of KM and are completly different in "nature" and behave differently in their flightpaths resulting in a ridiculously wide CEP. This kind of weaponry was created specifically to enable its user to carry out nuclear strikes effectively, especially many thousands of KM away. What you mention about the US developing a nuclear warhead in an artillery shell casing -- it was just experimental and soon after they concluded that it wasn't feasable and the idea was discarded. The Air Force can generally do the job better at shorter distances and perhaps at extremely long range (USAF), but its reach is limited for countries that lack aeral-refueling capability or those whose air force crews haven't recieved training in such procedures.

Anonymous said...

Iraq has been repeatedly regarded as a rigid, less than disciplined, and most ill-trained military in the region by the immense majority of commentators in open-source literature, hence the very popularization of the term "paper-tiger" which in the case of Saddam's Iraq meant lots of nice hardware, no credible capability to use it proper.

In contrast, tiny Serbia only had a fraction of both quality and quantity in air defense material, let alone its lack of strategic depth. Despite that, their military only sustained marginal losses during the 1999 month-long NATO bombing campaign and in turn inflicted the humiliating loss of a cutting-edge F-117 stealth plane via modified legacy, Vietnam-era SA-3 batteries. To quote a military analysis site : "[...]The Serbian SAMs and radars were largely of the same vintage and subtypes, as those used by the Iraqis and Syrians. The fact that NATO forces were unable to quickly kill off the Serbian SAM batteries forced continuing and ongoing sorties by NATO support jamming and defense suppression aircraft, driving up the cost. NATO forces launched 743 AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile rounds for very little damage effect – around 1/3 of the number used to cripple Iraq’s much larger air defense system in 1991. [...]"

That pretty much annuls using Iraq as a point of reference to study here. It was badly scarred by the Iranian embargoed military in 81-82, while being itself supported by dozens of countries including the US and USSR. Anyway, the Iranian missile industry has been deemed by the CIA in recent declassified report signed by Leon Panetta himself, as the most serious of the region, and has simply nothing to do in scope of scale with Iraq's modest missile program that mostly consisted in its botched attempts at merely modifying some Scud boosters for range extension. Oh, the Patriot had 1% success rate in 91 despite this.

Since 2007-8, Iran has been busy phasing out its production line of Liquid-fuelled Shahabs now considered obsolete, in favor of its newly developed solid-fueled Sejil-2 and Ghadr-F/H in the MRBM range. Stocks are kept for saturation attacks only, a known doctrine for this country.

On SRBMs : the naval version of the Fateh-110 has a demonstrated ability to perform pin-point strikes against mid-sized vessels, again a test validated by western observers. It's called the Khalij-Fars, which uses optical guidance to achieve terminal precision, just like later versions of Russian Scud-D missiles that used the same guidance method and achieved 50 meters CEP ==> A Scud can be pretty accurate indeed.

PAC-3 remains notoriously untested against large swarm attacks and decoys numbering in the dozens of targets, the most serious engagement being so far a cruise missile and a Scud-like missile fired and intercepted at the same time. A point that has led to much debate in congressional circles as to whether its potential can be trusted in case a missile power such as Iran fires and nearby US interest with determination using both its short range Fateh-110 (reported with a CEP of around 100m in its latest generation) and longer ranged missiles.

Read what happened to the INS Hanit, a cutting-edge Israeli navy frigate, that almost sank after being hit by a sea-skimming , Iranian developed version of a Chinese C-802 missile fired by Hezbollah, and think twice before belittling their arsenal's capacity while inflating many times their enemies' potential.

The Iron Dome : couldn't even intercept more than 50% of heavy artillery Fajr-5 rockets fired by Hamas, and wasn't designed to take on heavier, faster, longer ranged missiles. The Arrow is here for the job. Again, it has no place in this discussion. And if such overwhelming superiority existed in either Israeli or American ABM capabilities, we would have witnessed attempts at performing full-scale air attacks against Iran by now already rather ever-lasting saber rattling by Bibi from Likud.


Anonymous said...

AnonymousOctober 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM
There is little comparison between iraqs missile forces,around a hundred crudely modified scuds with a cep in the thousands of meters and irans force that numbers anywhere from the low hundreds right up to a couple of thousand with a cep that depending on warhead types is measured in the tens of meters.As for the effectiveness of abm systems these are totally unproven and have never been realistically tested under anything approaching combat conditions,systems like the israeli arrow are large and bulky and can only be moved with effort,they cannot shoot and scoot,most likely they would get off one salvo before being destroyed,many of the patriot batteries are based at likely target sites and would probably face the same fate,iran unlike saddam would not fire its missiles off in ones or twos but in salvos of tens.The cep of late cold war icbms like the mx peacekeeper was measured in the tens of meters,as far as nuclear artillery is concerned both sides developed and fielded nuclear artillery rounds during the cold war.Irans air force has aerial-refueling capability and its pilots are well trained in its use.The iraqi military looked ok on paper but its performance in the iran iraq war should have been a give away,also saddam stupidly sat back in 91 and 03 and allowed the us to build up a massive force in saudi and kuwait while he did nothing.Saddam may have lacked the means to retaliate but iran does not,it has the largest stocks of ballistic missiles,the largest stocks of anti ship missiles and the largest stocks of sea mines in the region,it also has the largest force of fast attack craft and submarines in the region.The idea that it would be a "cake walk" is just silly,iran has the ability to destroy any target within 2000km of its borders and to shut off 20%+ of the worlds oil,I also dont imagine iran would allow the us to build up an invasion force on its doorstep like saddam stupidly did.If the west was so confidant in its abilities and irans defenses so lackluster why has there not been an osirak style sneak attack on irans nuclear facilities or an attempt at libyan/iraqi style assisted regime change

Anonymous said...

AnonymousOctober 15, 2013 at 2:56 AM,

you couldn't complement my words better...