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Iranian Artillery Rockets

Iranian military forces possess a wide variety of artillery rockets, although the diversity of these holdings has generally been exceeded only by the paucity of detailed information in the open literature. Iran produces a range of artillery rocket systems, including the Shahin, Oghab, Fajr, Naze'at, and Zelzal. Although these rocket systems were developed primarily for a battlefield support role, Iran used the Oghab in a strategic role during the February-April 1988 "War of the Cities," to bombard Iraqi cities and towns.

Iran produces a number of rocket types domestically of Chinese and Russian origin, including the ubiquitous 107mm and 122mm types. These include the 107mm Haseb, and 122mm Noor and Arash rockets. The 122mm Noor multiple rocket is designed as part of light weight artillery weapons. It is a fin stabilized High Explosive rocket. The rocket was seen displayed with a a red and silver nose, green warhead with an Iranian flag on the side, silver rocket motor, and gold fins. The body is steel.

The Oghab is a unguided HE rocket. The rocket was seen displayed painted white with red fins and warhead with two sets of green, white, and red stripes. The Body is steel. The Oghab, a 230 mm artillery rocket with range of 34 km, is launched from a launcher with three launch tubes.

Shahin I is a HE rocket. The rocket was displayed painted forest green with two sets of green, white, and red stripes and a red and white tipped nose. The body is steel. Shahin II is a fin stabilized, high explosive rocket. It is part of a heavy artillery unit, and features a multiple nozzle design, for use as a surface-to-surface and air-to-surface rocket. It was designed as a unguided rocket in order to destroy enemy troop concentrations, installations and fortifications. The rocket was displayed painted white with red fins and warhead with two sets of green, white, and red stripes. The Body is steel.

The 240-millimeter Fajr-3 missile has a range of some 25 miles, and the 333-millimeter Fajr-5 missile has a range of about 45 miles. Production of the Fajr-3 missile, with an estimated range of 45 km, was estimated to have started in 1991. Iran had for some time been manufacturing the Naze'at (Iran-130), similar to the Shahin series. Fajr-3 has the same caliber, range and warhead weight as three known North Korean systems.

The Fagr-5 missile, which is launched from a mobile platform, reportedly has a range of between 60-70 kilometers. The missile was constructed by the Iranians, reportedly with help from North Korea and China. Like the Katyusha rocket and the Scud missile, however, at its maximum range it is only accurate to within a radius of around one kilometer. There are unconfirmed though plausible reports that Iran has tested a chemical warhead for the Fajr-5.

Six Shihab-3 missiles, bearing the slogans "Israel must be wiped off the map" and "We will crush America under our feet," were the stars of the 22 September 2003 military parade in Tehran marking the anniversary of the start of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, the beginning of what Iran calls "holy defense" week. Other missiles displayed at the parade, according to state television on 22 September, were the Nazeat-6, Nazeat-10, Zezal, Maverick, Hawk, Tondar-69, Fateh-110, Scud B, SAM-6, surface-to-surface naval missiles, Fajr air-to-surface missiles, and long-range shore-to-sea missiles. On 21 September 2004, the IRGC held a parade in Teheran in which the force displayed the Shihab-2, Shihab-3, the Nazeat-6 and Nazeat-10, the Tondar-69 and the Zelzal missiles. On 22 September 2005, Iran conducted a military parade in which the missiles displayed included the Shahab-3, Zelzal 1 and Zelzal 2, M-11 Variant/Tondar-68, Nazeat and M-6. Hawk missiles were paraded, marked as Nazeat and Zelzal. Some of the missiles had banners saying, "Israel should be wiped off the map" and "We will trample America under our feet," "Death to America," and "Death to Israel."

Iran is focusing on constructing medium range ballistic missles with ranges of up to 1000 km. This was thought to require help from foreign nations, mainly North Korea and China, but it should be noted that Iran has the ability to produce missles indigenously. North Korea and China were known to support the Iranian Scud B and C programs with technology and maintainance.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:08 ZULU