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Safir IRILV Block-II

Second Generation Class Space Booster


Future Booster Developments

© By Charles P. Vick (All Rights Reserved)

Senior Technical Analyst, Globalsecurity.org

O4-12-09 --05-25-10

Iran has begun the development of the planned Black-II Safir booster intended to double its payload capacity with the intent to make it operational by some time in 2010. The launch vehicle is to acquire its increased payload capacity into low earth orbit through the addition of two Samen, solid motor strap-on boosters added to the Shahab-3C derived first stage and possible a new solid motor third stage added to the existing two stage Safir space booster. The announcement of the development start on this booster was made on April 14, 2009 by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This booster is capable of placing satellite in 700 kilometer (440 mile) orbits or doubling its payload capacity. Safir-II in its two stage storable propellant configuration successfully placed the 27 kilogram (Omid) Hope satellite and the boosters second stage in earth orbit on February 2, 2009 with initial parameters of 245 by 378 kilometers with an orbital inclination of 55.5 degrees.

Safir Block-II Class Space Booster

Iran is known to be combining these liquid propellant and solid motor technologies to the development a more capable Safir block-II class space booster expected in 2010 with over twice the capability of the present Safir space booster. It will utilizing two Ghadr-101/Samen strap-on boosters with the first stage with a Safir second stage and potential third stage with in its bulbous payload shroud giving it a 50-200-250 kilogram payload capacity as an interim step to both an advanced solid propellant space booster similar to Pakistan's space booster development efforts.

Through spring 2010 there had been no appearance of the Safir-Block-II design booster as the several satellite associated with it have also not appeared bring into question whether Iran has had second thoughts on this configuration with the introduction of the Simorgh-3 series of heavier space boosters in development.


The Iranian successful development of the Ghadr-101 single stage missile with the Ghadr-101/Samen, Ghadr-110, 110A /Sejjil/Ashura solid propellant two and three stage missiles also indicated a second trend in Iranian developments that will lead to larger more capacity space boosters and potential ballistic missiles. Iran is known to be working on a new nearly all solid propellant booster with a payload capacity of 330 kilograms to low earth orbit. They are also developing solid propellant ballistic missile to replace the scud based Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 systems.

Solid and Liquid propellant systems of North Korea, Iran and Pakistan

Solid and Liquid propellant systems of North Korea, Iran and Pakistan

Iran is basically equal or in many cases ahead of North Korea in these booster developments that serve both the ballistic missile program as well as the space booster development for both nations cooperative efforts. The successful flight to orbit of the Safir satellite launch vehicle demonstrated the critical staging guidance control technology required for ballistic missiles and future planned heavier space boosters. Like Taep'o-dong-1, Safir no matter what its rendition is not expected to be deployed as a strategic system because it simple does not have the required performance payload capacity for strategic application. There are in fact ballistic missile systems No-dong-B being deployed in Iran in 2008-2009 that out perform this launch vehicle. It also portends the introduction of larger more capable space and strategic ballistic missile developments.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:51:54 ZULU