Sunday, October 11, 2015

Test launch of Iran AIO 'Emad' medium-range ballistic missile

MODAFL on 11OCT15 announced the test launch of Emad ("Pillar") medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), featuring a newly designed reentry vehicle and more advanced guidance and control system.

"The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them," IRNA quoted Defense Minister IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan as saying.

The Emad appears to be a liquid-fuelled Shahab ("Meteor") variant, with claimed range of 2500 km, 100 meter CEP for accuracy and a 750 kg (1,653 pound) payload.

Iran's defense minister further stated IRGC-ASF ballistic missile force would take delivery of Emad MRBM some time in 2016.

COMMENTARY: Since the signing of JCPOA, a vocal group of Iranian lawmakers have been pressing for displays of Iranian ballistic missile technology. The political object advanced by these lawmakers has been to display Iran's sovereignty over matters of defense, regardless of continued sanctions.

Defense Minister Dehghan, while stating that ballistic missile drills and test launches are subject to defense requirements, nevertheless emphasized the sovereignty issue during today's MODAFL announcement, where he stated "To follow our defense programs, we don't ask permission from anyone...", meaning foreign powers.

Precision strikes by conventionally-armed ballistic missiles are capable of inflicting serious losses to an adversary during wartime,. A recent case in point: during the Yemen conflict on 04SEP15, an OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile hit an arms depot close to the positions of Pro-hadi forces, killing over 100 troops (52 UAE, 10 Saudi, 5 Bahraini, and an unspecified number of Yemeni troops loyal to the exiled prime minister).

During peacetime, a second-strike capability potentially rendered by precision-guided  ballistic missiles are useful in serving as a deterrent against attack.

For a country like Iran-- with a relatively weak air force-- indigenously constructed ballistic missiles offer a more economical and effective means of strike delivery than otherwise possible, due to sanctions and factors related to hostile foreign power alliances.

Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) Emad ("Pillar") MRBM serial "FVEA001"

AIO Emad MRBM in firing position on transporter erector launcher (TEL)

AIO Emad MRBM airborne during claimed successful test flight

Video still of AIO Emad MRBM on TEL prior to launch

Video still detail of AIO Emad's numbered fins, on TEL prior to launch

Video still of AIO Emad's mounted cameras, providing imagery during flight

IRIB video broadcast weeks ago previously depicting a similarly advanced guidance system on ballistic missile transported by TEL through IRGC-ASF underground fortified tunnel system.


Photos: Islamic Republic News Agency


Anonymous said...

It is said the CEP is 100 m in 2500 km how significant is that. What warhead yield would eb sufficient to assure target destruction? It is said the warhead is 750 kg for 2500 km range.

Anonymous said...

Emad is a terrible name. Naming a missile after a dead terrorist who was killed in his hiding place in Syria is a sign of Kheffat and khari...they should have called the missile Tehrani -Moghaddam or Hamedani naming a missile after a dead Sardar who dies in the frontline is a sign of eghtedar and strength.

Mark Pyruz said...

Thanks anon for pointing out the updated specs. I'll change them in the post.

Nader Uskowi said...

The problem is not with the name, the test may have violated the terms of the nuclear deal, JCPOA. The UNSC resolution adopted unanimously a few days after the JCPOA bars developing of news missiles that could carry nuclear weapons. Unless 'Emad' is unable to carry nukes!

Anonymous said...

No it bars missile developed for Nuclear weapons. Actually they wouldn't mind this as it is clearly not for Nuclear weapon with higher precision that it has. At least this is what Zarif tells parliament

Anonymous said...

Name is taken from Joshan Kabir paragraph 28!

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 9:41 PM, the ban is on missiles that could be used for nuclear weapon, notwithstanding their use for conventional warheads.

Mark Pyruz said...

Nader, there are competing interpretations. The Iranian position is they do not possess a nuclear weapons program and their ballistic missiles are not designed for nuclear weapon delivery, so they have not broken JCPOA or the UNSC resolution.

The precision of the EMAD, or rather claimed precision, would tend to support a conventional designed payload, as the CEP they're claiming would be more useful for such than a nuclear-type MRBM.

Unknown said...

Besides who cares? Kerry himself said that missile/arms violations are not violations of the JCPOA, and would not result in a snap-back of sanctions. No one seriously expects Iran to suspend its missile program!

interested party said...

Whichever way it came about looks like this model has sneaked through. At 750kg and 2500km and 100m, if true and with a cluster munition warhead that's some kind of airbase denial weapon. Lot cheaper than a squadron or two of 4.5 generation aircraft? One of these things landing on Saudia Arabia's largest refinery would certainly halt the slide in oil prices one would think.

A said...

Jesus Christ, don't we have enough of these re-badge missiles. Showing same thing over and over again with a new paint job is not cutting the mustard anymore.

How about a basic 4th Generation combat aircraft for a change, which is not an F-5E. Is that too much to ask from these akhoonds?

Can Iran ever develop a combat aircraft outside the F-5E airframe?

Anonymous said...

No...why should we? we let the Americans do the research and the cost and then reverse what we know works. Iran's strategy is:
i) Buying state of the art 4.5 and 5 fighter jets from abroad, mainly looking for Russia but also some other sources.
ii) Do joint-development of specific 4.5 and 5 jets with an external partner, most probably Russia
iii) Develop domestic jet fighters.

For option i) Iran will look for example for some Su-30 or Su-34 type of aircraft from Russia to immediately get the edge.
For option ii) Iran looks for being able to do the joint ventures like the Indians do with Russia on the Su-30MKI, Iran is gauging the idea for either develop a jet jointly or copy and modify what a Russian platform offers.
For option iii) Iran is developing an entire platform on Saeqeh (which the Americans call the reversed F-5...) and modify that to suit its own goals and objectives. The ultimate goal is to have the 3rd generation fighter which Saeqeh is to evolve to 4 and 4++ fighter to satisfy the needs of ground forces, air force, navy and also some of the regional partners. For that matter Iran has now taken Saeqhe to Saeqeh2 and Saeqeh3 is also now tested (without public disclosure) and Saeqeh4 is undergoing final design. Improved avionics and radar (in a larger nose) plus stronger engines giving it 1.8 Mach speed and also letting it to carry more armaments under somewhat larger wings are the main priorities.
Iran's goal is to produce some 300-400 of Saeqeh in total for domestic usage and also find regional customers such as Lebanon, Syria and Oman.
The combination of the state-of-the-art import, great joint-venture and cost-effective domestic design and development will give Iran both the edge but also the mass in the most optimized way.
Even Americans have realized there is a need for cost-effective jet fighters in the market and that not everyone can afford having F-35:

Anonymous said...

I don't think any expert believes a word these guys say. If you read Missile Threat, CSIS and other expert sites you will realize how much faith they put on what Iranian officials claim. Some samples for your reading pleasure:

"Iran has not conducted extensive, realistic missile tests at full operational ranges and carried through to strikes on target with the same configuration of its modified or Iranian-produced missiles to make reliable estimates of their war fighting capability."

"The abilities and specifications of the Shahab 3 are largely based upon foreign speculation and aggressive Iranian diplomacy. Iran is known to rename missile programs, exaggerate about missile performance abilities, and declare that untested technologies are operational."

Anonymous said...

Good points. It seems logical and cost friendly. The development of J-90 engines and engine with 150 KN thrust with after burner is on the same path as mentioned above. Do you know what is the name of the engine being developed?

Anonymous said...

Actually Anthony Cordesman in "Iran's Rocket and missile Forces and strategic Options" page 97 mentions Emad_1 having Nav-Sat and coming in 2016. Despite what you are saying they take it serious. Avoid BS and stick to specified facts. This is a serious blog dealing with facts. A CEP, speed and navigation of a missile can be easily detected and analyzed when tested by foreign powers and on this one they had inside intel. long time before test. Cordesman mentions its CEP to be 500m and Iranian sources claim 100m.

Anonymous said...

I would take anything Anthony Cordesman says with a very,very large grain of salt,he consistently downplays or underestimates iranian capabilities,for example in one of his reports he made the laughable claim that iran had only 20-30 missile tels in total or that irans missile forces only number in the low hundreds at most.I would expect an unguided warhead to have a cep lower than 500m and when you throw in terminal guidance a cep below 100m is quite reasonable,for example the 70s era pershing 2 with terminal radar guidance had a cep under 30m,certainly irans regional enemies take its missile forces very seriously judging from the billions they have collectively spent on missile defense

Anonymous said...

True , in every report on regional comparison he does that. But the point is he mentioned such missile coming so at least they should believe that it exists . Some totally reject it as fake. There is a lot of BS like Dehghan saying the CEP is 2m and they will have it zeroed which is wrong and CEP can not be zeroed but one can distinguish it.