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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Project 395
Condor II

Beginning in 1984 or 1985, Iraq started a cooperative effort with Egypt and Argentina to develop a high-technology, two-stage missile system designed for a range of around 1,000 km, called the BADR 2000 in Iraq and Egypt and the Condor II by Argentina. This missile was to be built first as a two-stage rocket (solid fuel technology).

The two-stage version was 10.30 meters in length and 0.80 meters in diameter; it weighed approximately 4,800 kilograms. Unlike the Argentinean Condor-II, which had a solid-fuel engine in the first stage and a liquid-fuel engine in the second stage, Iraq favored solid-fuel engines in both stages. With this configuration, the payload is supposedly 350 kilograms, and the range approximately 1,000 kilometers.

A three-stage version was being discussed as a variation on this, where the first and second stages were to be equipped with solid fuel motors and the third stage with a liquid engine. The further development and future production of the liquid-fuel engine of the Argentine Condor-II second stage was being pursued in tandem with the Iraqi project. There is evidence that the two-stage version could be equipped with this engine as a third stage. Such a rocket would then be intended as a space delivery vehicle for limited payloads.

The program was supposed to be realized in close cooperation with the special organization, the Arab League Industrial Development Organisation (ALIDO), with its headquarters in Baghdad. The Egyptian Ministry of Defense, working with financiers from Iraq, contracted with the Argentines to produce the missile. Argentina was to provide the development of the production site, Iraq was to put up the financing, and Egypt was to procure the technology. A consortium of mostly European firms handled various portions of the project. Over a dozen US firms were directly involved in Project 395. The equiment and technology suplied by US firms involved in Project 395 were used to construct part of the infrastructure (e.g. buildings, utilities, fortification, etc.) necessary for Iraq to mass produce the Condor II missile.

The progress was slow due in part to the lack of indigenous technology and the need to covertly acquire the technology and materials used in production of ballistic missiles abroad. By 1987 or early 1988, Iraq became unhappy with the slow pace of the project and suspicious that is partners might be siphoning off some of the billions invested. Iraq experienced difficulties with the supplier governments with regard to the provision of the missiles as well as support and production equipment. After contract delays and in an effort to receive some of the contracted items, Iraq signed another contract, in 1987, for the provision of only 17 complete BADR 2000 missiles and missile ground support equipment. Iraq soon realized that it would not receive any of the contracted missiles, nor most of the contracted infrastructure.

By 1988, Iraq was taking a much greater role in the Condor II project. In summer 1988, Abdel Kader Helmy was arrested in California for illegally transferring technology for the Condor II to Egypt. Iraq terminated the contracts with the supplier Government in late 1988. Iraq declared that, in the beginning of 1989, it attempted to complete the BADR 2000 project by itself, in particular the production of solid propellant motors. This time it decided to deal directly with the supplier companies or their middlemen, as well as to rely on indigenous capabilities. Through the Technical Corps for Special Projects [TECO], which was a MIMI affiliate, agreements were signed with many of the original contractors who had worked in the consortium. At that time, TECO assigned the designation project 395 to the Condor II Program. Some additional materials, equipment and technologies were received by Iraq in 1989 and 1990.

Project 395 had at least three sites in Iraq, each of which has a different function and its own project number. In addition, a missile R&D site was erected in northern Iraq. Despite all efforts, though, the Condor apparently was not mass produced in time for the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

In this effort, Iraq constructed sophisticated production facilities and imported high-technology production equipment for the fabrication of the first solid-propellant stage of this system. The UN Special Commission assesses, however, that no complete BADR 2000 missiles were produced by Iraq. The Commission has supervised and verified the destruction of all known items, production equipment and infrastructure directly associated with that programme. The Commission believes that Iraq did not acquire any technology or equipment for the production of any other aspects or components of that system, e.g., guidance and control and launchers. [S/1995/284]

Long Range Ballistic Missile Using BADR-2000 Design

In 2000 or 2001, Iraq began development efforts toward a long-range, solid-propellant ballistic missile that would, when fully developed, greatly exceed the 150-km-range limit imposed by UNSCR 687. Further, the program appears to have been highly compartmented and virtually undocumented. Iraqi desire for a long range, solid-propellant ballistic missile system in 2000-2001 can be traced to the BADR-2000 program from the mid-1980s. This program would have produced a two-stage, 750-km-range ballistic missile system using a 0.8-meter-diameter solid-propellant motor as the first stage. Although it is unclear when the program started or what the range requirements were, Huwaysh in 2000 or 2001 formed a small, select Large Diameter Missile (LDM) committee and reportedly tasked the committee with developing a 400-km-range solid-propellant ballistic missile, according to senior Iraqi missile officials. There are conflicting numbers for the required range of this missile. Various high-ranking former Iraqi officials have offered range requirements of 400 km, 500 km, at least 650 km, 400 to 1,000 km, 500 to 1,000 km, 1,000 km, or 1,000 to 1,200 km. Further, a payload of 500 to 1,000 kg was mandated, depending on the source of the reporting.

The program, centered at the Al Rashid General Company, went forward in 2001. The initial concept based on a cluster of three Al Fat'h motors was rejected because of modeling limitations. The selected design consisted of a 0.8- or 1.0-meter-diameter motor that may have been based on the BADR-2000 design. The design reportedly would involve a missile 6 to 7 meters long with an accuracy of 2% of the range flown for a spin-stabilized version and 3 to 5% for an unguided version. The solid rocket motor would have had a propellant mass of 4,000 to 5,500 kg as compared with an Al Fat'h motor propellant mass of 828 kg.

While Al Rashid was pursuing the long-range design, a senior Al Rashid official apparently had doubts that it could be completed. Although he reportedly never formally stated the missile could not be developed, he apparently did inform Huwaysh sometime in 2001-2002 of limitations in Iraq's solid-propellant infrastructure, stating that a missile with a range of 650 km would require 5.5 tons of propellant. Huwaysh reportedly informed Saddam Husayn. Although still limited, Iraq had made substantial infrastructure improvements that would have improved its ability to manufacture large motors. At least one of the 300-gallon propellant mixers "destroyed" by UNSCOM was repaired; Iraq tried, unsuccessfully by the time of the return of the UNMOVIC inspectors, to repair the second. In addition, casting pits, annealing furnaces, and test stands needed for development of long-range solid-propellant missiles were repaired, modified, or created. Had the effort continued, a long-range solid-propellant missile could have been produced within 5 years, according to one senior Iraqi missile developer.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:43:28 ZULU