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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Al Mamoun Factory
Mulla Fayyad

In September 2002 the US Government reported that the Iraqis had rebuilt structures at the al-Mamoun facility that had been dismantled by UNSCOM that were originally designed to manufacture solid propellant motors for the Badr-2000 missile program.

It was reported that the Federal Intelligence Service (BND -- the German foreign intelligence service] detected a missile facility consisting of several factory buildings, located in an inaccessible area 40 km southwest of Baghdad, apparently near Mulla Fayyad. At the partly subterranean "Al Mamoun Factory" some 250 engineers were reportedly working on producing the short-range missile of the ABABIL-100 type. Although this missile has a range of only 150 km, the project demonstrated the Iraqi determination and personnel for developing missiles.

According to the British dossier Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction released in September 2002, new missile-related infrastructure under construction, including rocket propellant mixing and casting facilities at the al-Mamoun Plant, appeared to replicate those linked to the prohibited Badr-2000 programme (with a planned range of 700-1000km) which were destroyed in the Gulf War or dismantled by UNSCOM. A new plant at al-Mamoun for indigenously producing ammonium perchlorate, which is a key ingredient in the production of solid propellant rocket motors, was also constructed. This had been provided illicitly by NEC Engineers Private Limited, an Indian chemical engineering firm with extensive links in Iraq, including to other suspect facilities such as the Fallujah 2 chlorine plant.

Iraq managed to rebuild and expand its missile development infrastructure under sanctions. Iraqi intermediaries sought production technology, machine tools, and raw materials in violation of the arms embargo. At the Al-Mamoun Solid Rocket Motor Production Plant and RDT&E Facility, the Iraqis, since the December 1998 departure of inspectors, rebuilt structures damaged during the Gulf war and dismantled by UNSCOM that originally were built to manufacture solid propellant motors for the Badr-2000 program. They also built a new building and are reconstructing other buildings originally designed to fill large Badr-2000 motor casings with solid propellant. Also at al-Mamoun, the Iraqis rebuilt two structures used to "mix" solid propellant for the Badr-2000 missile. The new buildings-about as large as the original ones- were ideally suited to house large, UN-prohibited mixers. In fact, the only logical explanation for the size and configuration of these mixing buildings was that Iraq intends to develop longer-range, prohibited missiles. The Iraqis completed a new ammonium perchlorate production plant at Mamoun that supported Iraq's solid propellant missile program. Ammonium perchlorate is a common oxidizer used in solid propellant missile motors. Baghdad would not have been able to complete this facility without help from abroad. [CIA 2002]

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:44:43 ZULU