Thursday, October 15, 2015

Underground-basing of IRGC-ASF ballistic missile force

Above: line of IRGC-ASF MRBMs on TELs inside claimed underground ballistic missile force base

On 13OCT15, IRGC-ASF Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh permitted what he claimed were first ever imagery to be published of ballistic missile force bases bored into the "heart of a mountain," stating "Those who are happy about their options on the table should just take a look at [Iran’s] options under the table… Our power and capabilities are like an iceberg that floats above water and whose tip barely shows above the clear water.”

Hajizadeh further claimed numerous such tunnels exist across the country at a depth of 500 metres.

"The Islamic republic's long-range missile bases are stationed and ready under the high mountains in all the country’s provinces and cities," he said, according to Sepah News.

The commander said the missiles were ready to be launched from all over Iran, on the order of "the supreme commander-in-chief," Leader of the Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“This is a sample of our massive missile bases," Hajizadeh said, adding that "a new and advanced generation of long-range liquid and solid fuel missiles" would start to replace the current weapons next year.

COMMENTARY: Contrary to the depiction that this is the first time Iran has published imagery of missile underground shelter complexes, there does appear to be examples shown in the past for both ballistic missiles on TELs (see below) as well as coastal defense cruise missiles on mobile launchers.

It appears the bores in the depicted tunnel complex are noticeably larger than those seen excavated by TBMs for Iran's light rail metro projects. However, additional construction techniques may have been specified and applied.

Also the timing of these ballistic missile announcements deserve consideration. If indeed the current Syrian offensive involves a significant IRGC ground force contingent, that is to say combat unit formations, perhaps the Iranian calculation involves publicity such as this touting the IRGC-ASF ballistic missile force for its strength as a deterrent, intended for both extra-regional as well as regional states supporting forces arrayed against the Syrian Arab Republic. This might especially be the case if the upcoming phase of the Syrian offensive is as destructive as some observers are expecting it to be.

Or perhaps the timing might better be explained as a consequence of Iran's ratification process for the JCPOA, as well as renderings specified on Iran's military industrial complex by the nuclear agreement and subsequent UNSC resolution.

IRGC-ASF Ghadr series MRBM mounted on TEL at underground ballistic missile force base

Giving a sense of scale for this section of claimed underground ballistic missile force base

Foreground: triconic warhead of Ghadr series MRBM on TEL
Background: wall surfaces of underground ballistic missile force base

IRGC-ASF Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh

What may have been previous published imagery of IRGC-ASF underground ballistic missile force base, here depicting a ballistic missile with the more advanced RV type. This still from a video broadcast weeks ago on IRIB television.


Photos: Fars News Agency via Mashregh News


Anonymous said...

Interesting, these facilities and stock pile of missiles would have taken 1 to 2 decades to develop. I think regimes take from the nuclear issue was the complete opposite of what the West and Israel intended. The regime realized some decades ago that nuclear weapons are unusable abominations which can only bring negative attention as a deterrence and anybody who is stupid enough to use them will immediately go down in history as a war criminal. Therefore they went to develop a missile program accurate enough to deter enemies from starting limited attacks. If they have developed guidance systems with CEP of 5 meters they do not need nuclear warheads. In any ways the missiles and facilities have been developed before and during the nuclear negotiations so US intelligence services would have been aware of them and it is good PR to make their existence public before BARJAM is put into effect but after it is ratified, as the knowledge of these facilities does not effect BARJAM ratification and if US and Europe use it as an excuse to renege the deal Iran could go back to previous nuclear activities. Most importantly it means the regime is working as a unit with regards to BARJAM despite some negative rhetoric from Sepah.

A said...

whats the point of these tunnels? Mojaheddin sources have already compromised all these 'hidden' tunnels.

Besides with puny little 500 kg warheads, these handful of missiles are useless against gulfy's or U.S. bases. They will be like pin pricks during war at best.

The retaliation to one missile attack will be swift and punishing when massed attacks by F-15's and B-1B's will pummel Iran's juvenile and third world level 'defenses'.

Anonymous said...

sure more than 1 Bunker im Iran
they cannot be destroyed by Air attack

Anonymous said...

Handfuls!?,LOL!,irans ballistic missile forces are the largest and most powerful in the region,they number in the mid to high hundreds at a minimum,throw in shorter ranged missiles like the fateh 110 and you have a force that numbers well into the thousand+ and virtually all of the gulf state and us bases are within range of irans short ranged missiles like the fateh 110 never mind the longer ranged stuff,also if irans missiles are so "useless" then why did israel spend billions of its and us tax payers money to develop abm systems?,why are the gulf states spending billions on abm versions of patriot or thaad.Its one thing to know where something is its another thing entirely to be able to get at it especially if its buried 500m inside a mountain thats assuming of course that a bunch of mek terrorists could even find it to report its location in the first place,also most of the warheads on these babies are 750-1000+kgs.If irans defences were so "juvenile and third world level" then what was stopping israel and the us from attacking?,they certainly made enough threats and had no problem attacking irans weaker neighbors so what was stopping them? surely it wasnt irans "handful of missiles" or "juvenile and third world level 'defenses'".Maybe you should do some more research in future

Anonymous said...

These bunkers are more useful than one might think. If the missiles are accurate then the economic damage that using them against Saudi Kuwaiti or Bahraini oil instillations will cause would be prohibitive enough to deter would be casual attackers like Saudi regime or Israel. Imagine if Saddam had these would Kuwait and Saudi hosted US forces for attack against Iraq?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of putting all or most of their eggs in one basket .

Anonymous said...

Former president Dr. M. Ahmadinejad has established the Iranian Tunnel Association, and under his tenure dozens of miles of tunnels have been built..........


Anonymous said...

Saddam do have underground missile base

Anonymous said...

Some serious objective research is in order. Iran's ballistic missile inventory is perhaps 3rd largest in the world and bigger than India.

Anonymous said...

Sure buddy. We have seen just how much success these missiles have brought Iran in Iraq and Syria. They are about as worthless as Saddam's Scuds were in 1991. They did jack shit against the U.S. led coalition, and in the end Saddam lost the war. And yes the U.S. prepares for intercepting these in case of a hot war, and shoot them all down. These tunnels are useless. Only good to hide them from aerial attack. Like I said you can't even launch them from the tunnel, this is a joke, this whole set up. MKO terrorists and other poor Iranians on chump change get bought out via roshveh and sell out quick to the CIA. They have already destroyed all of Iran's by one.......All failed states now. Iran's turn is next, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Peddling around 1950's technology from the DPRK, arming and training tribal Araabs and handing them tofang in civil wars for small time militia fights?

Stop making us laugh.......Iran is a small potato.

Anonymous said...

The interesting question is whether the Israelis knew of the existence of these tunnels when they were bluffing of an attack. How lucky for them that an agreement was reached on time and a major catastrophy was prevented!

Anonymous said...

We have seen just how much success these missiles have brought Iran in Iraq and Syria. They are about as worthless as Saddam's Scuds were in 1991 ==> dude, we're in 2015, please stop pushing forward that weak, empty and baseless anti-Iran rant every time you can, like all those other Iran-bashers lurking on this blog... both the Pentagon's Leon Panetta and Israel's founder of the Arrow ABM program, Uzi Rubin, acknowledge the giant leap that Iran's solid-fueled MRBMs such as the Sejil and Ghader family and their 300m CEP represent, in all of the interview and public hearing they've given so far. A certified means of taking out every single one of its regional enemies' vital infrastructure, would it be civilian or military, through its close to a thousand-strong long-range arsenal and its hundreds of brand-new launchers allowing for salvo strike, something Iraq was completely incapable of, on top of the several km CEP of their assets. Indeed once a long-time weakness in Iran's missile abilities, it finally got addressed a few years ago through a multi-year industrial effort at mass producing international-grade TELs.

Iraq's Soviet export, 2nd rate legacy, unguided, liquid fueled, slow, less-maneuverable and inefficient missiles are of no compare to Iran's arsenal, and you'll only make a damn fool of yourself every time you come waving that recurring Gulf War I example as an alleged base for your argumentation.

Plus, the USN's "Great Scud Hunt" is renowned at achieving only a dozen kills against Iraq's scattered missiles despite overwhelming means to sweep their deserting, flat terrain, and so with little to no air or ground opposition to do their search runs. 2/3 of Iraq's Arab neighbors took directly part in the war and advanced on Iraq in all directions on top of NATO forces, and Saddam was known at preventing its air force from receiving decent training since he always feared they would take him down in a coup sooner or later. Reports indicated after the war that they crashed several of their most advanced Mig fighters because of a lack of proper training, that speaks volumes about the kind of paper tiger its army was in the end. Iran by contrast is known at mastering concealment by making use of elaborate decoys and use of its diverse, mountainous terrain. I'd love to see how great the US would perform with its best anti-bunker penetrators against half a kilometer of rock, short of a nuclear strike.

Iran's missiles are now equipped with guided MIRVs with controlled re-entry, only a handful of countries in the world can boast of a home-grown ability to produce and field those, it is eaons away from anything the US has faced in its recent, low-intensity endeavors against ruined and disarmed countries (and yet didn't manage to control them in 10 years of occupation, but that's another subject).

Iran missile forces are perfectly able to reduce enemies' airbase efficiency by half in the opening hours of a full-blown war, in a 2nd strike quality, and that precisely what they're designed for, and an integral part of Iran's war doctrine in that regard. No really, you SHOULD document yourself next time before coming back here with your belittling claims with zero fact to support them.

Anonymous said...

And yes the U.S. prepares for intercepting these in case of a hot war, and shoot them all down. These tunnels are useless. Only good to hide them from aerial attack. Like I said you can't even launch them from the tunnel, this is a joke, this whole set up. ==> even in a controlled framework, the most realistic war scenario in which the US ABM systems have been tested against so far were 2 simulated Scuds and 1 cruise missile coming at the vicinity of Aegis destroyers back in 2012. That is why several congressmen still question their ability at sustaining salvo strikes comprised of dozens of missiles launched at once + decoy warheads of the kind that Iran is known to possess, and cheap/simple to produce. Their X-Band radars haven't demonstrated their effectiveness at differentiating those from actual warheads, they're jokes against a determined, all-out assault from Iran or any other country. Only lobbies stand between them and actual, real-time tests with more than 2-3 attacking vectors.

And for Christ sake, THINK before talking, do you think Iranians are stupid enough to walk around on camera and show you every bit of their underground infrastructure from one edge to the other just to convince the likes of you of their camouflaged openings and control/command nodes ??? what about a map with a precise "X" on every of their locations so that you can try and visit ? even the US doesn't that, why would Iran ? in every strategic site there is a PR-valid part and a classified one. Every underground missile base has silo openings and multiple access to it via a complex tunnel network, that's why they've built them under a mountain, because they're hard to detect with SAR-mounted radars and drones, and offer a pretty efficient natural barrier against even the most potent conventional weapons... 15 years that Bibi & consorts have been bragging monthly if not weekly about their ability to kill the Iranian nuclear program and its thousands+ missiles with zero difficulty, and we have yet to see them walk their talk, despite a total collapse of the sanction regime due to a total success of the P5+1 negotiations.

What are they waiting for to deal with this paper tiger of yours once and for all , with all their perfect, overwhelming superiority at their end of the balance of power ? Christ's/Mahdi's second coming ?

Anonymous said...

Man, enough of your rants. Iran has been unable to do anything in Iraq or Syria, let alone Yemen or Afghanistan. All those countries are full of NATO troops or are being bombed to hell. Keep living in a delusion, and remember Iran is out of its league. It's a small potato. Good enough to hand tofang to tribal Araabs to go and fight proxy wars in unstable tribal fractured countries. Couldn't stabilize Iraq or Syria in last 10 years. Same thing with Afghanistan or Yemen. Stop the propaganda about DPRK given missiles making any difference. In eight years of a meat grinder against Saddam, Iran was helpless. Same thing today. Half ass sloganeering and hoo haa, but no results. All those countries are failed states with the West having a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Deal, only if you spare me the same old, empty looping claims please.... 10 years of US occupation ruining its economy and standing in the region, and stretching its forces thin both in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Iran was busy strengthening its hold on every level of Iraqi society. And as a result being now in control of a 40,000-strong mercenary force swearing alliance to Tehran and displaying giant pictures of Khamenei and Khomeini on whole city blocks... these forces, operating under the umbrella of the PMF took mere weeks to de-facto overtake the role of US-trained, financed and equipped ISF everywhere it ran away while leaving its gear & vehicles behind to crazy beheading rapists, sealing their image to the average citizen as demonstrated, battle-hardened and efficient protectors of Baghdad when IS had its columns of pickup trucks and armor marching toward every other major city... with the IRIAF soon acting as their air-force when they first started retaking territory from it notably in Jalula and Saadia back in december 2014, no to mention Tikrit, despite some unexpected setbacks. With their preponderance getting so unacceptable to the US that it put immense pressure on President Abadi so that the he excludes these battalions from further major anti-ISIS operations. To their dismay, the latter still spearheads every major push towards remaining IS strongholds with none other than PMF divisions. Al-Quds and Suleimani are revered beyond purely Chiite circles in Iraq now since they have been able to garner notoriety and appear as a uniting force of otherwise scattered and non-aligned anti-IS forces competing in their fight instead of cooperating. And they mainly did so through the countless critical failures of US-supported entities by being first to rush in with ammunition and equipment to the hottest front-lines during the terrorists' initial assaults on Iraqi population centers, while Washington & consorts were busy calculating their next move and exert maximum leverage before acting in any concrete way. Here, a good read to you, and not some Farsnews excerpt you'll be able to easily dismiss :

And I got plenty of other from the NY Times and Washington Post if you're ever interested.

How about nowadays, with Iranian generals sitting alongside Russian, Syrian and Iraqi ones right in the middle of the US-built and once occupied "Green Zone", with rotating leadership of a band-new joint intelligence and coordination operations room within the framework of their non US-led competing, and so far spectacularly more successful campaign against various jihadist groups in Syria ? Aren't these elements a noteworthy challenge to your claims about an imminent collapse of Tehran, and instead more like emerging symptoms of a changing regional order?

Yemen is secondary. The only interest the Iranians once had in it was to upset the Saudis right under their noses. Unreliable Houthis and their self-centered, extremist vision of Shiite Islam ruined their plans of domination in the under-developed and strategically less-than-relevant country, and personally I find it only fair, considering the kind of backwards alternative they were planning to offer as a replacement to pre-existing, similarly backwards but a puppet of Saud.

They rather concentrate on managing their growing, 2,000 strong force directly operating under massive Russian Air Force cover side by side with their Hezbollah brigades and the SAA, in order to evict GCC and US proxy forces everywhere they deem necessary on the short run. No matter what you think of it, that's what's happening on the ground today.

For sure Tehran and the IRGC is losing it everywhere as you claim, considering all this. The world sees it daily.

Anonymous said...

Drop bombs at entrance of tunnels equals waste of money for useless one ton firecrackers.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter whether those missiles will be used or not, the biggest importance of this information points to that, that the Islamic Republic continues its advancements in multiple fields and reaches higher and more advanced levels.
In this case - to construct that kind of protective tunnels under the extensive sanctions, it proves vitality and scientific developments as well as potential of the Islamic Republic, and its highly motivated cadres and scientists.
Imagine what they could develop and what would be achievement in normal conditions......