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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran’s rapidly Developing Solid Propellant Ballistic Missile

&

Potential Space Booster Program 2008

© C. P. Vick 2008 All Rights Reserved

March 25, - July 17, 2009

Disclaimer

The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the authors and cannot be construed to reflect those of any Government agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Iranian and North Korean government documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and reverse engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the Iranian and North Korean strategic space and ballistic missile programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress

Solid motor propulsion family developments

Confirmation of Iran’s Rapidly Developing Solid Propulsion Ballistic Missile Program

Iran has already demonstrated a three stage operation with the solid propellant Ghadr-110/Ashura program 2,000 km range designed is now being produced for deployment which has finally been publicly acknowledged after completing development to replace the liquid propellant Shahab-3B, 3C/Ghadr-1 already deployed. The Shahab-3B, 3C/Ghadr-1 design has a 2,000 km range performance. How advanced the Iranian Ghadr-110/Ashura as compared to the Pakistani Shaheen-2 can be questioned in the sense it utilized the three stage concept in flown flight test configuration verses the near identical two stage Shaheen-2 design approach that Pakistan used. It would appear that Iran chose to choose to use two identical half length solid motors of identical diameter for a second and third stage instead of the Shaheen-2 like first stage one with a sea level nozzle and the second one with an altitude nozzle as the second stage.

Space & Ballistic Missile Applications

These separate but similar design approached do portent of future developments in longer range ballistic missiles as well as space boosters. Iran may be considering the on going rapidly developing solid propellant program as the basis of a satellite booster in a similar manner as being studied by Pakistan. It would appear that Pakistan in fact plans to lengthen the Shaheen-2 first and second stage solid motors to obtain higher performance for its space booster while retaining the existing M-11 based Shaheen-1 solid motors strap–on boosters. In any case both developments could and would lead to potential IRBM/ICBM development masquerading as space boosters for both countries. The Iranian suggested fiscal planning pacing would seem to suggest that the rapidly developing solid propellant program is taking precedent over the very advanced liquid propellant missile programs for obvious military purposes but that has yet to be proven. What kind of design mix Iran will ultimately develop for it heavier capacity satellite launch vehicle remains uncertain.

Ghadr-101

Iran for the moment seems to have by passed the development of the Ghadr-101 solid propellant ballistic missile program based on the Chinese M-9 technology. However this program would be expected to manifest itself with the advent of a solid propellant space booster presumed to be in development now. Whether these solid propellant ballistic missile developments whose origins can be traced from South Africa to China to Pakistan and finally Iran will reappear in North Korea is the larger unanswered exceptionally serious issue at hand. IE if Iran has it North Korea has it or vice versa.

What is this Ghadr-110/Ashura Warhead Design?

When studying the launch image of the Iranian Ghadr-110/Ashura it appeared that the front end is designed to a very different warhead strongly resembling that of an encapsulated MRV design. This has been suggested in various Iranian discussions but it could also be an entirely new nuclear warhead re-entry vehicle design developed to accommodate the Atomic device designs known to have been studied by Iran. However considering its strategic deterrent value as a MRV in the face of Israeli and American strategic defense systems design performance in fact nullifies its strategic value as a MRV weapons system unless it is a single warhead. At this juncture it remains one of the unknowns from the available open source information coming out of Iran in spite of the known design studies by Iran.

 Iran’s Solid Motor Production Industry

 Most of the solid propellant combinations used by Iran’s solid fueled ballistic missiles and space boosters are believed to be batch produced primarily in an isolated facility south west of Esfahan and south of Najafabad adjacent to the place named Madiseh. The vast expanse solid propellant explosives plant is believed to be located directly across from Madiseh south west of Esfahan. This vast isolated facility has all the industrial temporary storage revetment temporary, test and long term storage production facilities to cast and store these solid motors for Iran’s solid propellant ballistic missiles and potential future space boosters. It also is believed to house the required final assembly industrial facilities for those missile systems.

What is it with These Names Shahab-3 A, B, C, Ghadr, Ghadr-110, Ashura, & Kavoshgar?

The Shahab-3, 3A are variants on the basic No-dong-A design while the Shahab-3B is a lengthened improvement on the Shahab-3A. The Ghadr-110 is the Ashura solid propellant replacement for the liquid propellant Shahab-3A, 3B series. The Ghadr-110 is the original name applied to the Iranian government renamed Ashura. The Kavoshgar is the Iranian Shahab-3C Ghadr missile system a lengthened Shahab-3B used as a sounding rocket vertical probe. All of this would suggest that the Iranians are playing “name games deception” because two systems they are not showing the really important Ghadr-101/110 and No-dong-B missiles are the critical strategic systems.  Basically with the Shahab-3B had been displayed in parade some three times before a variant on it the “Ghadr” Shahab-3C was displayed in parade suggest that the Iranians were both playing games to make news and play the psychological warfare game of “Names games deception”. One could also wonder about the political agenda games from which one can only guess. The missiles displayed are essentially variants of the Shahab-3B.

There remains considerable uncertainty on Iranian development of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 and its No-dong-B based development because of the problems associated with North Korea’s flight test effort. This is why the rapidly developing solid propellant program and its clear military advantages is more attractive to the military in addition to the faster pace of development that it offers for national goals as laid out in the series of three fiscal “three Year Plans”. This is only true to the extent the Google Earth images seem to indicate a North Korean/Chinese like launch facility in construction southeast of Semnan on the satellite launch infrastructure that supports a large liquid propellant space booster and not a large solid propellant booster. Only time will reveal the answer this issue.

Iranian Verses Pakistan Solid Propulsion Developments

Credits, References:

2. http://hometown.aol.de/SLVehicles2/Dong%20Feng/DF.htm The striking similarity of any Chinese, Pakistani and Iranian solid fuel rockets, Norbert Brügge, Germany

3. http://hometown.aol.de/SLVehicles2/Nodong/Nodong.htm The North-Korean Nodong missile family, Norbert Brügge, Germany

4. http://hometown.aol.de/SLVehicles2/Safir-IRILV/Safir.htm Iran 's first space launch vehicle Safir IRILV, Norbert Brügge, Germany

5. http://youtube.com/watch?v=S3mSNxhILo0&feature=related , various Iranian video’s on the missile and space industry,

Iran Launches Space Programme, Fires Research Rocket video

Iran Launched a Rocket to Send First Satellite video

Iran Space Center video (Persian)

Iran Test Launches Kavoshgar-1 Space Rocket video

15. Nicholas Badenhorst  – correspondence February. March 2008

 

Will North Korea introduce new Advanced Solid Propellant Ballistic Missile Technology Thanks to Iran ?

C. P. Vick 2008 All Rights Reserved

March 25, - April 12, 2008

The question of concerned with the North Korean stance in the six party negotiations that has been observed of late leaves one wonder if whether all sides are going to get real on the total issues. Is North Korea going to revert to its buying time like its past demonstrated activities as a prelude to a follow up satellite launch attempt by the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 space booster strategic ballistic missile? That possibility could be looming this spring summer because the five year plan timing is right or they could demonstrate some new strategic ballistic missile technological surprise thanks to Iran . That is if North Korea and Iran have leveraged the trade for the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 booster. Clearly the so called North Koran missile moratorium has been over since the summer of 2006. On the one hand the hereditary leadership must balance the military industrial bases of its existence since the State is the military and the military is the State verses the all too real economic depleted national reality all working under the same employer roof. The vertical structure of the North Korean regime hereditary leadership is facing the strong resistance to change by the very political military industrial complex the bases of its regime existence.

The reason being is the rapidly developing program pacing of Iran recently revealed three stage liquid propellant space booster a compacted Taep’o-dong-1 revised design which I was aware of in the spring of 2007. I was also aware of the rapid developments in Iranian’s solid propellant ballistic missile program that portend serious near term national security issues based on their series of three, three year plan, fiscal announcements. In both cases new advanced heavier lift masqueraded space boosters are presumed in development that are long range strategic ballistic missiles in addition to the on going Iranian nuclear materials enrichment program. Like it or not, not with standing the recently poorly written U. S., NIE and Chinese revelations to the IAEA board on Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program and the continued ballistic missile development of both solid and liquid propellant systems and re-entry vehicle testing combined with the continued nuclear materials enrichment constitutes an implied threat. Whether these solid propellant ballistic missile developments whose origins can be traced from South Africa to China to Pakistan and finally Iran will reappear in North Korea is the larger unanswered exceptionally serious issue at hand. IE if Iran has it North Korea has it or vice versa although close analysis of this so far has indicated otherwise but will that continue to hold is at best uncertain for the moment.

These strategic ballistic missile developments are very real immediate concerns that could be mirrored in North Korea thanks to Iran that could end the six party negotiations process unless both sides get the dead lock resolved very shortly. If there is anything the North Koran missile-space program personnel have been addressing it is the issues that caused the failure of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 in the summer of July 2006 and its fledging developing solid propellant ballistic missile program. Indeed the center for the development of the Taep’o-dong-2C/3 may now have finally transferred to Iran as long predicted. They failed in attempting to beat South Korea to orbiting its own satellite to the consternation of the North Korean leadership. That leadership was looking for miracles in its rushed strategic ballistic missile space launch test and nuclear test verses facing the all too real reality of its situation.

IRANS Solid Propellant Ballistic Missile Programs 2007

© Charles P. Vick 2007 All Rights Reserved

February 08, 2007

Disclaimer

The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the authors and cannot be construed to reflect those of any agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Iranian and North Korean government documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and reverse engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the Iranian and North Korean strategic space and ballistic missile programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress.

IRANS Solid Propellant Ballistic Missile Programs

Overview

Iran’s solid propellant tactical ballistic and guided ballistic missile program has been around for many years because of the Iran Iraq war, but has more recently benefited from some Russian and a great deal of Chinese to Pakistani to Iran assistance. This technology transfer has allowed Iran to develop a new indigenous solid propellant rocket industry located 175 km east of Tehran within the Sanam, based Industrial Group, department 140 and it predecessor organizations. This is one of the major industrial groups in charge of the Solid propellant ballistic missile programs. The Sanam Industrial Group further enveloped the existing industrial infrastructure and had its personnel trained to modern state of the art technological standards for that industry to the extent possible. In total it has allowed Iran to develop as many as 30-40 or more different solid propellant rocket motors into full or as parts of missiles systems although some are still under development. This does take into account the space launch vehicle program/strategic ballistic missile program solid motors used as second or third stages’ on those launchers as well as the artillery, anti-armor, tactical, SAM, cruise missile, AAM, ASM, and other related solid motors. Presumably some of these space program related solid motors were supplied by China, Pakistan and or reworked by Iran’s developing missile industry for their own use. Those Chinese motors can be readily identified from public literature on then from China. This also assumes that China may have supplied North Korea the solid motor technology that was used as Taep’o-dong-1’s third stage that ruptured two thirds of it way through its burn in flight in its first attempted satellite launch.

The Washington Times documented China’s contribution to the Iranian solid propellant rocket program on June 17, 1997 with the following basic information. The NP-110 short-range, 450 mm, diameter solid propellant missile has a stated range of 105 miles or 168.95 kilometers. The report says China supplied X-ray equipment, which is used to check the solid propellant casting to make sure it is cured correctly, as well as other required solid propellant production capability. (1)

Contribution by Russia, through MTCR violations, of technology transfer to Iran’s solid propellant rocket program infrastructure through an educational process were documented by The Washington Times in its February 23, 1998 issue. The article certainly gave suggested indications of duplicity on the part of the Russian, Federal Security Service (FSB) cooperation with Baltic State Technical University in St. Petersburg . The University previously called Military Mechanical Institute Imeni Dmitry Ustinov and its director Yuri P. Savelyev were implicated for providing technical pyrotechnics education to Iran ’s Solid propellant missile industry. (2)

The U.S Government would subsequently issue sanctions through the United Stated, Department of State against the Baltic State Technical University and its director Yuri P. Savelyev for violations of the MTCR. Many of the other existing sanctions were at that time lifted from Russian entities previously sanctioned. They were working on the NP-110 missile also known as the Fatch (Victorious-110) first launched successfully on May 31, 2001 with a range of 105 miles or 168.95 kilometers. Technically this is probably legal under the MTCR range limits.

Some indications of China’s support of the Iranian, solid propellant rocket program was published in the June 16, 1998 issue of The Washington Times. Iran had carried out a “purchase of telemetry equipment” from China for missile flight test monitoring. In addition “China Great Wall Industries” provided an entire “Telemetry infrastructure” for the Shahab-3 MRBM and Shahab-4 IRBM based on No-dong. Moreover it is clear that China helped in the NP-110 short-range tactical solid propellant missile with a 105 miles (168.95 km) range. (3)

Successful completion of the development of the NP-110 was confirmed in The Washington Times, May 31, 2001 article “Successfully tested the home built Fateh-110 (Victorious –110)”. This is a part of the 105 mile range NP-110 Surface to surface missile program started in 1997 that is based on solid propellant technology acquired from China and Russia. (4)

It was reported in the Middle East Newsline of October 17, 2001 that Iran would appear to be attempting to develop a solid propellant equivalent capability Shahab-3 class MRBM with similar performance requirements based on assistance from the Chinese like was done in Pakistan. It is suggest that the Chinese will supply a different guidance system for this project. (5)

Some sources claim that the Russians are helping a solid-fuel design team at the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group in Teheran develop a 2,800-mile (4,505.2 kilometers) missile, capable of reaching London and Paris, and a 6,300-mile [10,000 km] range missile that could strike cities in the eastern United States. These reports are poorly documented

Large Solid Motor Program

Iran ’s missile solid propellant rocket motor program is not believed to be advanced enough compared to its liquid fuel rocket engine program, launch vehicle program to provide much more than strap on solid motors or upper and last stage satellite orbit injection solid motor for launch vehicles. This is based on the examples of the Naze’at-6 (NP-110), Naze’at-10 (NP-110A), Zelzel-1 (Mushak-100), Zelzel-2 (Mushak-200), and Fateh-110/110A. This solid motor program is known to be years behind the liquid propellant program but it is making systematic deliberate and critical strides that will eventually bring it up to IRBM, ICBM potential. Iran is believed during the year 2000 to have started the development of a new multi-stage solid propellant motor based Ghadr-101, and Ghadr-110, which may be an Iranian variant on the Shaheen-1, and Shaheen-II design of Pakistan . This advance is presumably thanks to the A. Q. Khan network, which in turn can thank China for its M-9, M-11 and M-18 technology. The solid motors program for the new Ghadr-101 completed development in 2005 and only had to be integrated with available propulsion and guidance air frame warhead design and developed to be flight tested in the near future. The Ghadr-101 may very well have already been flight tested in country during 2006 or may be very close to its operational introduction to eventually replace the Shahab-3A & 3B MRBM. Iran may have moved quickly along to the Ghadr-110, 110A based on the recent speech by the deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency of the Pentagon Army Brig. General Patrick O’Reilly before the George C Marshall Institute. (6)

Essentially a major technology transfer from A. Q. Khan Network not ever considered before it was largely stopped. The Ghadr-101 is now nearing flight test in 2006, with 750-800-1,500 kilometers while the Ghadr-110, 110A will have a range of 2,000- 2,500 & 3,000 kilometers range capability depending on the number of stages and payload mass, similar to or much better than that of the Shahab-3 class performance, that could lead to other significant potential developments. This is because Iran has just very recently announced in late May early June 2005 that it had successfully tested the new larger solid motor associated with this program. If this solid motor-s or multi-stage solid motors can indeed perform to this level, then it suggest that Iran is on the verge of potentially being able to create a clustered solid propellant motor IRBM and/or ICBM. This Ghadr-110 series in addition to the Shahab-3B and No-dong-B of launch vehicles may have all together in fact replaced the apparently shelved Shahab-4 improved Taep’o-dong-1 class booster design some years ago. It can not be understated just how much the Iranian solid propellant, motor program owes to Pakistan , China Russia and the South African industry under its former regimes and the indirect Israeli/French contribution to that rapidly developing effort. (1) However there is mounting evidence that Pakistan is openly continuing cooperation with Iran and China raising serious red flag questions. It became apparent late last year that two missile programs were maturing to preflight testing development.

Missile Systems Nomenclature

North Korea Iran Pakistan

Liquid Propellant Launch Vehicles

1. Scud-B =Shahab-1  
2. Scud-C =Shahab-2  
3. No-dong-A =Shahab-3,3A &3B, =Ghauri-II
4. No-dong-B =? Shahab-4 n/a
5. Taep’o-dong-1 =Taep’o-dong-1A? n/a ?
6. n/a =Shahab-3D/IRIS n/a
7. Taep’o-dong-2,2A =Kossar-Shahab-5 n/a
8. Taep’o-dong-2B? =? n/a
9. Taep’o-dong-2C/3 =Shahab-6 n/a

Solid Propellant Motor Launch Vehicles

1. n/a Ghadr-101 =Shaheen-1?
2. n/a Ghadr-110 =Shaheen-2 ?
3. n/a Ghadr-110A =Shaheen-3 ?
4. n/a Space L. V./ICBM Space L. V./ICBM

Iranian Large Solid Propellant Motor Ballistic Missile Programs

GHADR-101

Range Kilometers 750-800
Diameter Meters ~1.0
Height Meters ~9.0
Stages   1-2?
Launch Mass Kilograms  
Warhead Mass Kilograms 1,158-650
Chinese Origin Heritage M-9 missile

GHADR-110

Range Kilometers 2,000-2,500
Diameter Meters ~1.4
Height Meters ~17.5-19
Stages   2
Launch Mass Kilograms 25,000+
Warhead Mass Kilograms 1,158-1,1050-760-550
Chinese Origin Heritage M-18 missile

GHADR-110A

Range Kilometers 2,500-3,000
Diameter Meters ~1.4
Height Meters ~19-20+ varies
Stages   3
Launch Mass Kilograms varies
Warhead Mass Kilograms 760-650-550
Chinese Origin Heritage M-18 missile

Satellite, ICBM, Launch Vehicle Ghadr Derived Concept

Range Kilometers 8,000-10,000
Diameter Meters varies
Height Meters varies
Stages   4+
Launch Mass Kilograms varies
Warhead Mass Kilograms 650-550
Chinese Origin Heritage M-9, M-18 missiles

Composite Conceptual Iranian & Pakistani Space Launch Vehicle and or ICBM?

This launch vehicle composite concept is based on the known Chinese M-9 and M-18 derived solid motors as well as the M-11 technology transfer and the Hatf-3 missile added to the mix as well as the IRIS class launch vehicle upper stage solid motors. It is also apparent that if Pakistan and Iranian were to develop an approximately 2.0 meters diameter first stage solid motor would improve this design. It is interesting to compare US and Russian solid propellant motors performance and its impact on the ultimate missiles designs. This is exemplified by the size differences between similar US and Russian ICBM designs with the Russian designs seemingly larger but this may be due to the other performance requirements. Looking at the Pakistani satellite launch vehicle concept it must be remembered that it is predominated by solid motor technology experience base but that does not preclude the use of liquid propellants such as the Ghauri-II/Hatf-5. Pakistan has similar solid motors to the Iranians Zekzal, Naze’at, and Fateh tactical missiles as in part seen in the Abdali/Hatf-II. There is little doubt that Pakistan ’s Shaheen-II/Hatf-6 in its modified final design form which is different from the paraded version will be the basis of its satellite launch vehicle. This missile system has a performance with a 1,000 kg warhead of 2,500 kilometers. Add a third stage to the missile from the M-9 and or Iranian IRIS program upper stage and you are approaching a Minuteman ICBM class configuration but not necessarily that performance. Add a fourth stage and a small fifth stage and you are approaching the Russian Start satellite launch vehicle size. Iran is known to be working on a similar range performance system like that of the Shaheen-1 and Shaheen-2 known as the Ghadr-101 and Ghadr-110.

Solid Motor Heritage and Comparative Foreign Systems Technology

SHAHEEN-1 (Hatf-4) Pakistan

Range Kilometers 600-750
Diameter Meters 1.0
Height Meters 12
Stages   1
Launch Mass Kilograms varies
Warhead Mass Kilograms 850
Chinese origin Heritage M-9 Missile

SHAHEEN-2 (Hatf-6) Pakistan

Range Kilometers 2000-2500
Diameter Meters 1.4
Height Meters 17.5
Stages   2
Launch Mass Kilograms 25,000
Warhead Mass Kilograms 1,050
Chinese origin Heritage M-18 missile

MINUTEMAN-1A USA

Range Kilometers 9,300
Diameter Meters 1.88
Height Meters 16.4
Stages   3
Launch Mass Kilograms 29,484-29,660
Warhead Mass Kilograms 500-1,000

MINUTEMAN-1B USA

Range Kilometers 10,200
Diameter Meters 1.88
Height Meters 17.05
Stages   3
Launch Mass Kilograms 31,300
Warhead Mass Kilograms 1,000

MINUTEMAN-2 USA

Range Kilometers 11,200
Diameter Meters 1.88
Height Meters 16.76
Stages   3
Launch Mass Kilograms 31,752-33,000
Warhead Mass Kilograms 1,000

MINUTEMAN-3 USA

Range Kilometers 13,000
Diameter Meters 1.88
Height Meters 18.25
Stages   4
Launch Mass Kilograms 34,474-35,400
Warhead Mass Kilograms 2,000

Russian Systems Observations: Typical Soviet-Russian era solid propellant ICBM’s have utilized three stages. Their ICBM derived space boosters have featured four and five stage configurations.

Finally on January 29, 2007 the US government acknowledged for the first time the existence of several new Iranian and North Korean missiles under development through a speech by the deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency of the Pentagon Army Brig. General Patrick O’Reilly before the George C Marshall Institute. In that speech he described the Iranian two stage Ghadr-110 solid propellant missile with a range of (1,324 miles) 1,995.16 or close to 2,000 kilometers. It has been known that the Iranians are working on the Ghadr-101 as well as the Ghadr-110 solid propellant missiles. The Ghadr-101 solid motor development was completed in 2005. He also described the two stage Taep’o-dong-2C/# as having a range of (6,200 Miles) 9,975.8 kilometers and the three stage version with a range of (9,300 miles) 14,963.7 kilometers with a 250 kg warhead. He went further in his slides presentation to show that the No-dong-B has a demonstrated range of 2,000 miles or 3,218 kilometers (3,000 kilometers which is known) when it is capable of flying (2,485 miles) or about 4,000 kilometers.(6) The No-dong-B was described as “a qualitative improvement in the performance” from earlier North Korean missile systems. The Iranian Ghadr-101, 110, 110A will in fact also provides Iran with an ASAT capability besides its operational MRBM and IRBM capability. The initial design of the Shahab-3D would have also provided an ASAT capability but appears to have been abandoned some years ago.

References:

1. Gertz, Bill, “ China joins forces with Iran on short-range missile”, The Washington Times, 17, June 1997, p.A3.

2. Gertz, Bill, “ Russia conspiring with Iran on missiles”, The Washington Times, 23, Feb. 1998, pp. A1 &A18.

3. Gertz, Bill, “ China assists Iran, Libya on Missiles”, The Washington Times, June 16, 1998, pp. A1 & A14.

4. “ Iran says it tested first solid missile”, associated Press, 31, May 2001, “ Iran test fires new missile: TV, Tehran”, AFP 31, May 2001.

5. Rodan, Steve, “ Iran Begins Serial Production of Shahab-3”, Middle East Newsline, Oct. 17, 2001.

6. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20070130-122437-6559r.htm Gertz, Bill, How the “axis” seeks the killer missile, The Washington Times, January 30, 2007, p. ?

Middle Eastern Solid Propellant Ballistic Missile Technology Transfer Developments Implied?

05-17-07

By Charles P. Vick © All Rights Reserved 2007

Senior Analyst, Globalsecurity.org

 Earlier on January 29, 2007 the US government acknowledged for the first time the existence of several new Iranian and North Korean missiles under development through a speech slide presentation by the deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency of the Pentagon Army Brig. General Patrick O’Reilly before the George C. Marshall Institute.  In that speech he described the Iranian two stage Ghadr-110 solid propellant missile with a range of (1,324 miles) 1,995.16 or close to 2,000 kilometers. It has been known that the Iranians are working on the Ghadr-101 as well as the Ghadr-110 solid propellant missiles. The Ghadr-101 solid motor development was completed in 2005.

The Iranian Ghadr-101, 110, 110A will provide Iran with a potential ASAT capability besides its operational MRBM and IRBM capability. It has become apparent that the Iranian Ghadr-110, 110A IRBM/LRICBM/SLV in fact owes it design heritage to the Shaheen-II which in turn owes it heritage to the South African ballistic missile satellite launch vehicle technology RSA-3, which Israel took advantage of to develop its Shavit ballistic missile and space booster. South African design development of its RSA-4 has apparently lead to the development of the new Shavit-follow-on booster. The RSA-4 and RSA-3 technology has also shown up in the four stages Chinese DF-31 along with the precursor solid propellant two stage JL-1 SLBM. All of these missile related technology transfers are expected to culminate in a satellite launch vehicle for Pakistan Shaheen-II derived SLV/LRICBM and Iranian Ghadr-110A IRBM/LRICBM/SLV that will have a striking resemblance to the South African RSA-4/Shavit follow on, and the Chinese-DF-31/KT-1 and altitude version of the upper two stage JL-1, heritage There is real evidence of technology transfer to China on these solid propellant ballistic missile programs from South Africa with the Russian improvement additions introduced later. . The case for the technology transfers from South Africa to Pakistan and then on to Iran is admittedly circumstantial but it continues to amass. Close examination of the dimensions of the Solid motors seems to confirm the historic systems heritage of these missiles. Certainly there are several design approaches to the ultimate goals for Israel , Pakistan and Iran . Among them are the following three concept :

1. Shaheen-II/Shavit with large 2-2.4 meter diameter first stage motor like RSA-4 - This is the most expensive and difficult technological hurdle unless it is already done from South Africa . There is the possibility of stretching the existing 1.35 meter diameter solid motors for more performance as was considered for the Shavit commercial satellite launcher.

2. Four M-9 clustered as drawn with 1.35 meter diameter Shaheen on top – This is one of the two simplest, cheaper approaches but not necessarily the best payload approach.

3. A Shaheen–II/Shavit with two or four M-9 strap-ons surrounding the 1.35 meter diameter first stage of a three stage Shaheen-II – This makes the design awfully tall creating potential dynamic and flight control issues but cheapest to do

And in all cases an added shortened third stage would be added for range, payload and satellite performance requirements. So the Question becomes:

A. Which design approach will be chosen by Pakistan for the Shaheen follow-on? Three stage Shaheen – II with first stage attached two or four Strap-ons is indicated in design models?

B. Which design approach will be chosen by Israel for the Shavit follow-on? Large First stage diameter of 2-2.4 meters is indicated or longer existing solid motor is possibly indicated from commercial applications?

C. Which design approach will be chosen by Iran for the Ghadr-110A follow-on? Remains Uncertain?

D. What will be the impact of the Chinese experience with the DF-31/KT-1 with the JL-1 upper stages on these Pakistani and Iranian designs? The Chinese have had considerable difficulty with the KT-1/DF-31 derived design.

References;

1.    http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20070130-122437-6559r.htm Gertz, Bill, How the “axis” seeks the killer missile, The Washington Times, January 30, 2007



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