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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Clustering SA-2/Volga Engines Designs

ISG has retrieved copies of Iraqi design drawings for two long-range missiles, one based on a cluster of two SA-2/Volga engines and the other based on a five-engine cluster. Although dated 23 August 2000, the drawings are not signed and therefore the name of the draftsman or designer is unknown. Despite extensive research, ISG has not determined a single, clear explanation of the events leading up to and since the date of these drawings, but Iraqi interest in designs containing clustered engines can be traced back at least as far as 1989. See Figure 18 for design drawings.

  • One design uses a two-engine cluster mounted in a flared engine bay that supports a 760-mm-diameter airframe. Iraqi experts have assessed the range of this version to be at least 500 km. The propellant tanks, pressurization system, G&C, and warhead of this concept would be common with the 760-mm Al Samud II ballistic missile.
  • The second design uses a five-engine cluster mounted in a flared engine bay that supports a 1,250-mm-diameter airframe. Iraqi missile experts assessed this design would reach a range of at 950-1,000 km.

Various sources have provided ISG with differing timelines of events for the clustered engine project pursued by Al Karamah, but most sources suggest the order to develop long-range missiles came in 2001. The chronology of events that led to the creation of these designs is unclear.

  • According to an engineer within the Iraqi missile program, Huwaysh ordered work to start on an initial design of a long-range missile on 15 November 2000 following the first successful flight test of a modified 500 mm Al Samud. The engineer added
    that this work was completed in April 2001.
  • The same source later stated that Huwaysh ordered the design work to begin in August 2001 and requested detailed design to commence the following month.
  • According to another senior missile official, Huwaysh instructed Al Karamah in July 2001 to start work on long-range missiles.
  • Huwaysh insisted that, at a meeting with Saddam at the beginning of 2002, Saddam ordered him to create a missile with 750-km range and that it was expected to be ready in six months.

Though the dates on the actual design drawings obtained by ISG suggest they were created in August 2000, other information suggests that modifications were made throughout 2001. Source reports provide conflicting accounts as to when they were actually completed.

  • Designs for the two-engine and five-engine missiles were delivered to Huwaysh in December 2001 or January 2002, and all work on these was completed in January 2002.
  • A high-ranking MIC official reported that these designs were completed in March 2003.
  • In July 2002, Huwaysh ordered that all documents pertaining to the long-range missiles be returned to him. He said that Muzhir brought him two boxes of documents and in December of that year. However, other documentation not forwarded to Huwaysh had been recovered by ISG.
  • Huwaysh ordered at the onset of OIF that all the documents on the long-range missile project be destroyed, according to several high-level officials in the Iraqi missile program.

The evidence collected by ISG suggests Iraq had not completed the designs by the time UNMOVIC entered Iraq, although sources vary on the timing of the design work. Many sources refer to the project as being highly secret with information being passed only in person at face-to-face meetings among a select few individuals, which may account for discrepancies in dates provided by individuals without direct access. Figure 19 depicts the timeline of missile developments.

ISG’s confirmation that Iraq was working on designs for long-range clustered-engine missiles, although this work never progressed beyond the design phase, is evidence that the Regime was covertly researching the development of missiles with ranges in excess of 150 km. Further, Iraq took advantage of existing Al Samud II designs and had begun to develop the infrastructure that could have led to rapid development of these concepts.

  • The use of a 760-mm-diameter airframe could allow the use of Samud II jigs and fixtures to support the two-engine cluster design. ISG judges that it could provide a good concealment mechanism for work on prohibited programs.
  • The new test stand at Al Rafah was much larger than the preexisting engine test stand and could have been modified for testing clustered SA-2 engines. According to one Iraqi engineer, work on the new stand began by August 2001, suggesting that the requirement for the facility must have been drawn up much earlier.
  • Statements by various sources indicate that, before OIF, Iraq had over 200 SA-2 engines that had been scavenged from damaged missiles. Adding to this, at least 380 engines imported from Poland and possibly Russia or Belarus were more engines than probably required to immediately support the Al Samud II program. Some of these engines could have been available for use if Iraq had moved forward with a clustered-engine development program.


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