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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Propellant Research

Iraq was undertaking a planned, long-term research program into solid and liquid propellants, in order to be self-sufficient in propellant-related chemicals denied to them by UN sanctions and to create higher energy propellants, which could enhance the performance of existing and future ballistic missile systems.

  • In 2001, Iraq began an extensive program researching higher energy composite solid-propellant ingredients including nitronium perchlorate (NP), nitro-hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), azido-HTPB, and ammonium dinitramide (ADN). The research was conducted in Basrah University and the Ibn Sina’ Company. Only a few grams of each were manufactured and possibly delivered to Al Rashid, but no serious production efforts were undertaken. ISG has found no evidence that research into NP, nitro-HTPB, or azido-HTPB was ever declared to the UN. ISG judges that Iraq was unlikely to develop missiles in the near term using any of these higher energy solid-propellant ingredients.
  • Starting in the late 1990s, Iraq also conducted research, testing, and limited production of higher energy liquid propellants such as unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH), AZ-11, AK-40, and 95%-99% pure hydrogen peroxide. This research and pilot production was conducted at several facilities including Ibn Sina’ Company, Mosul University, Al Kindi General Company, and Al Raya’ Company. From all available evidence, ISG believes that Iraq was not able to manufacture large quantities of these propellants.
  • Starting in the late 1990s, Iraq also began research into production of propellants for its missile forces. These attempts at pilot production included xylidene, triethyl amine (TEA), nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4), and inhibited red-fuming nitric acid (IRFNA). While Iraq was somewhat successful at regenerating or producing some AK-20 (mixture of 80% nitric acid and 20% N2O4) and TG-02 (50-50 mixture of xylidene and TEA), they were unsuccessful at producing large quantities of these propellants or any new propellants. Iraq was reportedly successful in acquiring quantities of these chemicals from abroad for use in propellant production.



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