Iran's Ballistic Missile

Iran’s ballistic missiles

U.S. intel reports reported in The Washington Post on October 16, 2022, suggest that Iran may supply Russia with its short-range Iran’s ballistic missiles, including the Fateh a110 and The Zolfaghar.

What missiles could Russia buy from Iran?

Iran has built up a large and diverse arsenal of ballistic missiles, making it a powerful regional player in the Middle East.

Iranian rivals in the area, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States troops in Iraq and Syria, have expressed worry about Tehran’s growing arsenal.

Western experts believe Iran has at least 20 unique ballistic missile designs. Russia has access to a wide range of missiles suitable for various purposes, though some subvariants are left out.

Iran's ballistic missiles
Zolfaghar  Missile (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

For instance, the QIAM Short Range Iran’s ballistic missiles reportedly have a range of around 804 kilometers and allow Russian forces to strike targets across Ukraine.

The more sophisticated QIAM series missiles are equipped with a highly maneuverable re-entry vehicle known as MIRV, which greatly improves their accuracy against high-value targets and makes them challenging for air defenses to intercept.

The Shabab 3 is a medium-range Iran ballistic missile, but the Ghadr-110, an upgraded version of the Shabab 3, has a range of around 2,000 kilometers.

These missiles could be deployed by Russia well outside of Ukraine’s borders. Ukraine, which has only rudimentary standoff weaponry capabilities, would struggle to counter the threat posed by the various Road Mobile types of Iran’s ballistic missiles because of their inherent mobility and the country’s limited defensive preparedness.

However, the QIAM and the Ghadr, two Iranian long-range missiles, both have drawbacks. They use liquid propellant systems for power, which make them dangerous to use and takes a long time to implement.

Ghadr Missile
Ghadr Missile

Many of Russia’s objectives do not necessitate the use of rapid-reaction weapons. Therefore, it might acquire shorter-range missiles propelled by solid fuels to acquire the desperately needed long-range weapons.

For instance, Russia could buy the Fateh-110 road-mobile solid fuel SRBMs, some of which have terminal guidance for better strike accuracy.

Battle-proven and mass-produced, the Fateh 110 may intrigue Russian military generals. The missile has a range of almost 300 kilometers, making it well-suited to take out many targets.

Iran's ballistic missiles Fateh110a

Other missiles in Fateh Series, such as the Zolfagar, a single-stage solid fuel SRBM, and the two-stage Shaheed Hajj Qasim, unveiled in August 2020 and named after General Qasim Solamani, reportedly have a range of around 7400 kilometers, respectively.

Notably, Iranian surface-to-surface missiles SSMs often use transporter erector launchers tels based on commercial truck chassis, making them straightforward to maintain and operate.

Some claim that the Fateh A110 imitates the Chinese DF-11, while others say it is based on the Russian-made r-65 frog missile. Both are road-mobile solid-fuel Iran’s ballistic missiles. 

Iran began developing the Fateh a 110 in 1997 in the first test flight of the Fateh-110 took place in May 2001. A 6×6 truck serves as the base for the Fateh 110 ballistic missile.

Fateh a110b, the newest missile version, has a firing range of 250 kilometers and a precision of 250 meters sep circular error probability.

The Zolfagar is an Iranian single-stage, solid-fuel, truck-mounted short-range ballistic missile. First unveiled at a parade in September 2016.

The Zolfaghar missile, according to Iranian military sources, has a range of 700 kilometers. In February 2019, Iran debuted the Dezful missile, a variant of the Zolfaghar missile with a range of 1,000 kilometers.

Russia’s involvement in Iranian weapons development initiatives has increased in recent years.

Russia and Iran signed four intercontinental treaties to promote military-technological cooperation between 1989 and 1991.  As a result of these deals, Iran received $1.3 billion worth of military hardware, including 24 MiG-29 fighter jets, 12 su-24 bomber planes, and two long-range anti-aircraft missile systems.

Since the 1990s, Russia has given Iran Fagot anti-tank missiles, 5000 Malyutk anti-tank missiles, 3000 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank missiles, 130 BMP2 turrets, 154 missiles for s300 air defense systems, and many search radars.