Raad-500 / Thunder-500
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in charge of Iran's missile program, unveiled a new ballistic missile on 09 February 2020 that it said was powered by a new generation of engines designed to send satellites into orbit. The announcement came just days before the 41st anniversary of the 1979 revolution, an occasion routinely used by Iran to display technological advances for its armed forces.
State television said the new short-range ballistic missile - dubbed the Raad-500 - had a range up to 500km (310 miles). That is some 200km (124 miles) more than the Fateh-110, a ballistic ground-to-ground missile first unveiled in 2002 that weighs twice as much as the new missile. The Raad-500 is also equipped with new Zoheir engines made of composite materials lighter than earlier steel models, according to the IRGC's Sepah News website.
The IRGC also unveiled new missile engines made of the same material but with a "moveable nozzle" for the delivery of the satellites into space. The technology increases a missile's accuracy in hitting targets. IRGC commander Hossein Salami unveiled the missile and engines alongside the force's aerospace chief General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, in an unknown location, according to state television.
Salami said the moveable nozzle on the new engine allowed "manoeuvrability beyond the atmosphere" and amounted to a "leap in modern missile technology". The new technologies that made the missiles "cheaper, lighter, faster and more precise" could be applied to all of Iran's missile classes, he added. Thanks to a composite body, Zuheir composite engine, & a maneuvering re-entry vehicle, Ra'ad 500 is stealthier & weighs & costs half as much as the 4th gen of #Fateh110.
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