Saqr Missile

Iran’s pro-government media on Wednesday gave extensive coverage of the Saqr missile, saying it has been used in Iraq to target US soldiers in Syria and Yemen by Iranian-backed Houthi militia. This links Iran to all these attacks without giving direct credit to Iran.

The Saqr

According to the Tasnim source, this “mystery” missile has been used in numerous places connected to pro-Iranian forces in the Middle East. The fact that the missile can detect targets using optical and thermal technologies explains its function as a cruise missile and “loitering” munition.

The report also “patrols” the sky, looking for the target to be destroyed. It is loaded with explosives and a proximity fuse that detonates when the target is close enough for the 10kg warhead to detonate.

According to the Tasnim report, the Saqr missile has so far managed to destroy at least three Saudi drones in the skies of Yemen. 

“Such a missile, which is actually an innovation in air defense systems, is a suitable weapon for targeting drones and helicopters at low altitude; the Americans and Saudis use large numbers of targets in the skies over Iraq and Yemen,” he says.

The missile, according to Iranian media, “consists of three parts: propulsion, guidance and control, and the missile’s warhead.” It has a unique design. The article claims it has a “microjet engine,” noting that most air defense missiles run on “solid fuel.”

Next, the article discusses the weapon’s autopilot, data link, and GPS. According to IRGC Aerospace Forces Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, “drone power is a new power that has emerged and has numerous branches, some of which are Iranian creations. There are numerous examples of drone-based surface-to-air defense missiles developed by Iran.

This missile has been discussed before. The Quds-3 land-attack cruise missile and the Saqr-1 surface-to-air missile were two less unexpected weapons on display, according to the Iran Watch website in November 2022. 

Both the Quds (which the US calls “351”) and the Saqr (which the US calls “358”) were taken by Western warships that were trying to stop weapons from going to Yemen.

The website claims that the Saqr-1 had previously been used to attack ground targets in Syria by Iranian-backed groups, but this is the first time the Houthis have exhibited it.

Another website claims that the missile is 2.75 meters long and weighs up to 50 kilograms when fuel is added. It can work in several ways, such as against air targets or “loitering” and searching for ground targets. Thus, operators will have numerous opportunities to use the weapon.

Why is Iran suddenly talking about this missile? It has existed for a long time, and its use in the area was already assumed and presumed. After the drone assault in Isfahan, does Iran reveal it as a form of threat?

When pro-regime Iranian news channels produce pieces like these, it is important to ask the following questions. Future sightings of this missile in the area are certainly conceivable. Another question is whether it is capable of what many articles claim.