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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Static Test-Firing Facilities

ISG judges that Iraq’s existing static test facilities for liquid rocket engines and solid rocket motors were in no physical condition to continue to support development and testing of Iraq’s liquid-propellant rocket engines.

  • Iraq’s existing liquid-propellant engine test stand at Al Rafah was designed to handle a single Scud-class engine of 13.5 tons of thrust, but, due to more than a decade and a half of usage, age, and bombing, was probably not capable for Iraq’s needs. According to one Iraqi engineer, construction on a new test stand began by August 2001, and it was sized to handle an engine larger than the SA-2-class or Scud-class engine. However, while physically able to accept a larger engine, the facility was not capable of withstanding the thrust that such a large engine would normally be expected to produce. The engineer suggested the test stand could have been used to test clustered SA-2 engines. The facility was not commissioned by the time of OIF. ISG assesses the new stand with modifications was suitable for clustered engines.
  • Although various static test-firing facilities for solid-propellant motors existed at the Al Qa’qa’a General Company (Nu’man site), these were of smaller capacity in terms of both explosive and thrust rating than those at Al Mutassim (Yawm Al Azim). At Al Mutassim, the largest of 5 test cells had been upgraded to allow thrust levels of 50 tons to be safely tested.


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