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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


SA-2 Conversions to Surface-to-Surface Missiles

Numerous sources involved in Iraq’s missile program have admitted to ISG that from 1997 until 2003 Iraq had several undeclared programs to convert SA-2 SAMs into SSMs with maximum ranges from 250 km to 500 km. Though ISG has not been able to confirm these claims, source interviews indicate that Iraq pursued at least four projects.

  • According to a missile program official, in approximately 1997 (while UNSCOM were monitoring in-country), Iraq initiated an effort to convert the SA-2 into an SSM with a range of at least 300 km. Iraq conducted two tests in late-1997 or early-1998 along depressed trajectories so that they would not exceed 150 km. Iraqi officials assessed, however, that the missiles were capable of reaching 300 km but with poor accuracy. Work on this program ceased and the only retained documentation consisted of range calculations for the missile at various launch angles. ISG has yet to recover these calculations.
  • Three missile officials from Al Kindi disclosed information about the Sa’d project, which began in 2000, to convert the SA-2 into an SSM with a theoretical range of 250 km. A MIC committee decided to withhold this information from the UN because the project had not yet reached the prototype stage, and all documentation was removed from Al Kindi prior to the return of UN inspectors in 2002.
  • The missile program official also knew of another project initiated in 2001 or 2002 after a study by ?Ali ?Abd-al-Husayn who was later transferred to work at the NMD. The source had no other information about this project.
  • The final project was initiated either immediately before or during OIF, according to an Iraqi scientist. This was a ?crash’ project under the control of Al Milad General Company and discussed at MIC during a meeting on 15 March 2003. The project converted two SA-2s into SSMs, but Iraq was unable to flight test them due to the speed of the prosecution of the war, according to a senior official within the Iraqi missile program.

In all cases, from the evidence collected to date, Iraq had not undertaken the wholesale conversion of SA-2 missiles to SSMs, and ISG has uncovered no evidence that payloads designed for these missiles would be anything other than the original HE warheads.


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