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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Graphite Technology

Through its efforts to reverse-engineer SCUD missile designs before 1991, Iraq gained an understanding and ability to produce graphite nose tips that would satisfy the technical requirements of warheads that could be used on systems from short to very long ranges.

Graphite is used in ballistic missiles in areas that suffer high thermal and erosive stresses such as nose cone tips, solid-propellant nozzle throat inserts, and thrust vector control vanes.

  • According to a high-ranking official in Iraq’s missile program, the nose of the warheads for the Al Samud and Al Fat’h missiles were graphite and based on the warhead design for the Scud missile. ISG retrieved three Al Samud II graphite-tipped nose cones during site exploitations.
  • A former military officer and engineer claimed that the graphite of the jet control vanes for the Al Samud proved capable of withstanding the intense heat and erosion during a vertical static test of the engine.

The procurement of graphite for the Iraqi ballistic missile program is well documented. The Arab Scientific Bureau, which was a front company seeking aerospace parts and chemicals for Iraqi state companies, tendered offers for graphite blocks. The Al Rashid General Company ordered 7.5 tons of graphite for 2003 and 2004, according to a contract document, and, during a site exploitation of the Al Amin Factory, ISG discovered two large wooden boxes containing two to three tons of graphite blocks.


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