Iran's first generation of air-launched PGMs was developed by the missile-manufacturing companies of the Iranian Ministry of Defence (and not the well-established Aerospace Industries Organisation, builder of Iran's surface-to-surface guided weapons). The AGM-379/20 Zoobin (meaning 'arrow') is a rocket-powered weapon that mates the same EO guidance package as the Qadr with a 750 lb warhead, based on an M117 bomb body, similar in concept to the US AGM-123 Skipper II. Both the Qadr and the Zoobin have been designed around standard US-pattern general-purpose bomb shapes, from existing IRIAF stocks. Both weapons have also been given US-style `GBU' and `AGM' designations, although the designers say that these numbers have no greater significance beyond inventory management and parts stocks.
The development of Iranian PGMs began during the Iran-Iraq war, because of a need created by the termination of US military aid following the Iranian Revolution. During the conflict the first of these weapons were used, but those crude weapons were subsequently improved upon. While the existance of indigenously produced Iranian PGMs dates back to that conflict, the first visual confirmation of such weapons came in 2002 when they were publically displayed.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|