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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Al Yamamah Project


In the 1990s, Iraq began research and development work on UAVs designed and built specifically as unmanned vehicles. The initial work was the responsibility of Iraq’s Military Research and Development Committee (MRDC), directed by Dr. ?Imad from 1993 until 1996. Between 1995 and 1997 the MRDC worked on the Al Yamamah UAV project, which formed the foundation of subsequent indigenous UAV development in Iraq. The Al Yamamah project consisted of three designs, the Al Yamamah 2, Al Yamamah 3, and Al Yamamah 4.

  • The Al Yamamah 2 and 4 UAVs were propeller-driven with pusher piston engines.
  • The Al Yamamah 3 was jet powered, using a TS-21 turbo-starter from the Russian Su-7/FITTER aircraft.

Iraqi engineers realized that most UAVs were not jet powered because slower, propeller-driven UAVs were simpler to construct and control and could remain airborne longer. Subsequently, the Ibn-Firnas General Company copied the Yamamah 2 design, increased the size of its tail boom, and renamed it the Al Musayara-20 (aka RPV-20 or UAV-20).

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