Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - April 1, 2006 - Iran tests new stealth missile
Posted on 04/01/2006 8:28:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn
Top News Story
Iran tests new stealth missile.
- Times Online reported that Iran today test-fired a new missile with the ability to avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously.
- Islamic Republic News Agency during a joint Iranian maritime war-game in the Persian Gulf, reported that: "One unit of Shahab 2 missile is to be launched to resemble peace and friendship among littoral states of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman."
- Dow Jones Newswires reported that the U.S. State Department said Iran's successful test of a nuclear-capable missile demonstrates Iran's "very active and aggressive military program" that is worrisome to the world.
- The Washington Post reported that Iran's armed forces on Friday successfully test fired a domestically produced missile which can evade radar, adding: "This technology is completely new, without copying any other missile systems that may exist in other countries."
The Iranian earthquake, the response.
- Yahoo News reported that President Bush offered assistance Friday to earthquake victims in Iran, saying the United States cares about the suffering of the Iranian people.
- IranMania reported that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday offered US humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Iran.
- Reuters reported that relief efforts are under way after a series of earthquakes on Thursday night struck Iran's western Lorestan province with over 300 villages in the remote area were reportedly affected, with between 30 and 100 percent of homes damaged.
- Photos of the earthquake damage.
Britain recruited Badr militia for Iraqi security.
- The Times reported that the Badr organization, trained in exile by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was deliberately recruited by Britain to join the new Iraqi security services after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.
Here are a few other news items you may have missed.
- Reuters reported that Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said that putting the U.N. Security Council in charge of the Iranian nuclear file risked harming Iran, the region and the West.
- Radio Free Europe reported that the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion, Asma Jahangir, disclosed an official Iranian government letter that reportedly tells government agencies to collect information -- "in a highly confidential manner" -- about Baha'i members. She explained why the information will likely be used to persecute and discriminate against Baha'i believers.
- Amir Taheri, Asharq Alawsat argued there is no civil war in Iraq: here is why.
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Pardon me for not believing this or that the Iranians are capable of designing and making a "stealth" missle, etc.
Who helped them or made it for them?
A new brass tray or tea pot I can believe, a multiple warhead missle,...not quite.
It's a multiple warhead, stealth missile toy.
They don't have the science to build the real ones.
Well, they have some sharpies on hand just like everyone else. Still, this strikes me as somewhat unlikely.
1. New missle!
2. Invisible new missle!
3. Invisible new missile with multiple payloads!
4. Invisible new missile with multiple payloads, that can accurately strike multiple targets!
Big talk needs big proof. I'm not sure a country like Canada with a mature engineering base, and no technology sanctions could build such a weapon. If the Iranians can, it would be extremely unusual in r+d, design and production terms.
There is a North Korea smell in the air...you can just smell a tad of it. Should we be shocked? No. They have highly educated engineers in NK...waiting to be contracted out by their government. This is the way things work there.
Who would help them?
Well there are Russian, Chinese and North Korean experts in Iran helping them already on their missile program...
(Previously thought to be
several thousand meters)
|Launch Weight Mass (kg)||15,852-16,250|
|Stage Mass (kg)||15,092|
|Dry Weight Mass (kg)||1,780-2,180|
|Thrust (Kg f)||Effective: 26,051 (-709)
|Burn time (sec.)||110|
|Isp. (sec.)||Effective: 226 - SL due to vains
steering drag loss of 45 sec.
|Propellant Mass (kg)||12,912|
The Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile means Meteor-3 or Shooting Star-3 in Farsi [alternatively designated Zelzal (Earthquake)] is derived from the 1,300-1,500 kilometer range North Korean No-dong missile. The Shahab-3 reportedly has a range of between 1,300 and 1,500 kilometers and is capable of carrying a 1,000-760 kilogram warhead.
The No-Dong ballistic missile was developed by the North Korean's with Soviet Gorbachev era technical participation along with Chinese contributions and Iranian financial assistance. The former Soviet Union's technology transfer contribution is circumstantially strongly suspected as having come from the Acad. V. P. Makeyev OKB Design Bureau developers of the Soviet era Scud-B, and its follow on SLBM's. The 9D21/S-2.___ Isayev OKB Scud-B engine was already in the North Korean's possession. While the Isayev OKB, S-2.713 rocket engine design used on the Soviet SS-N-Shahab-4 SLBM is also thought to have been a part of this technology transfer. This was directly the results of strategic arms reduction treaties creating unemployment in a large Cadre of technically qualified personnel in the Makeyev OKB's essentially cancelled liquid propellant SLBM programs of the Former Soviet Union. This was because no other form of employment was successfully offered to them. That highly modified Isayev OKB, S-2.713M rocket engine design strongly reflects its Scud-B design heritage but represents an entirely new liquid propellant rocket engine far beyond the growth potential of the modified Scud-B and C class engines for application to the No-Dong. That No-Dong engine also reflects modern Soviet rocket engine start up design technology such as the solid charge starter to spin up the turbo-pump, instead of start up propellant tanks, and the pyrotechnics used to open the propellant flow and to cut it off. It also reflects the typical on off rocket engine design philosophy used by the Soviets. All Soviet era SLBM's owe their design heritage to the Scud-A and Scud-B tactical ballistic missiles.
China's contribution to the No-Dong project came from the joint North Korean/Chinese project conducted between 1976-78, the cancelled DF-61 missile, essentially a Scud-C capability ballistic missile with a range of 600 km. carrying a 1,000 kg warhead that also featured a strap-down guidance system. Iran in fact decided to totally rework the North Korean No-Dong design to their liking with Russian and now Chinese help but they have yet to successfully indigenously produce the whole vehicle to North Korea's standards.
Iran was slated to receive the first shipment of the missiles late in 1993. However it was suggested that the delivery was halted due to American pressure on North Korea. According to some reports, as of 1995 Iran had not received the missiles. However Israeli press reports in 1996 cited intelligence reports which claimed that at least a dozen No-Dong missiles had been delivered to Iran from North Korea. But General Peay, USCINCCENT, claimed during a spring 1996 interview that attempts by Iran to buy No-Dong missile from North Korea had failed for financial reasons. The Washington Times, on September 11, 1997 reported that Iran had received from China's, Great Wall Industries Corporation, "guidance, and Solid propellant motor technology" as well as general missile testing technology. The Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 programs appear to be getting considerable assistance from China and Russia. (1) For the first time publicly the Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missile programs were identified in this article. Shahab-3 is said to have a range of 930 miles (1,496 km.) while the Shahab-4 is credited with 1,20 miles (1,995 km.) the prototype of which was expected to be only 2-3 years away. (1)
This was followed on October 18, 1997 in The Washington Times, with the information that "Iran is just three years (2000) from fielding the first of two versions of the North Korean, No-Dong missile called the Shahab-3 and Shahab-4". (2) However, active Iranian development of this missile continued. According to mid-1997 Israeli reports, at the rate of current development, the project will be completed and operational within two years -- by the end of 1999.
On 15 December 1997 satellite reconnaissance of the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group research facility, just south of Tehran, Iran detected the heat signature of an engine static test firing for this new missile. The test was either the sixth or eighth conducted in 1997, depending on conflicting interpretations of available intelligence. It is believed that Iran may have purchased up to 10 of these No-Dong missiles from North Korea. Iran's missile design bureau organizations for their Shahab-3 missile are made up of the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) and the Shahid Bagheri Indusral Group (SBIG).
It was further revealed by the Washington Times on June 16, 1998 that Iran had purchased "telemetry equipment" from China for missile test monitoring "China Great Wall Industries" provided an entire "Telemetry infrastructure" for the Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 MRBM based on No-Dong. China was also said to have helped in the Iranian NP-110 short-range tactical solid propellant missile project with a 105 miles (168.95 km) range. (3) The CIA predicts that the first test flight of the Shahab-3 would occur in 1998, while the DIA predicted a first flight test would occur in 1999. The tests of the missile engines, according to US intelligence, used monitoring equipment supplied by Russian sources.
On July 22,1998 Iran conducted the first flight test of the Shahab-3 MRBM missile based on No-Dong. The following information was revealed about this test in the Washington Times, on July 24, 1998, "The missile exploded 100 seconds after launch ---- after traveled about 620 miles (997.58 km. down range) over a missile test (range) site in Northern Iran. --- It is uncertain whether that was an accidental explosion or they terminated the flight after achieving what they had to do or because of other reasons." (4) This certainly indicates that the flight was not a total failure but at least a partial success. The Washington Post added it would take one or two years before the Shahab-3 MRBM would be deployed and that, "One government expert described it as "a flight-test for technical purposes" in which the dummy warhead exploded before hitting the ground well down (the test) range." (5)
|No-dong / Shahab-3
Range to Payload/Throwweight Trade-offs
The missile was launched at 06:00 from a firing range about 100 miles southeast of At (Qom?) Two or three American early warning and SIGINT signal intelligence satellites detected this first launch of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile. After launch the missile flew approximately 100 seconds to the southeast. The rocket exploded or was deliberately detonated about 100 seconds into the 110 seconds burn of the single stage, either because of engine steering vanes disintegration failure or instrumentation/guidance failure which may have caused the premature warhead detonation. There is also the possibility that the Iranian's, were satisfied with its Shahab-3 rockets performance, and had decided to detonate it by remote control. However this is highly questionable as a missile testing procedure. Almost certainly the missile had gone out of control and was deliberately destroyed. The flight ended near the time the fuel on the single stage missile would have been exhausted at 110 seconds from start up, at which point in an operational flight, the warhead would normally separate from the missile and fly to its target.
Due to the missile's mid-air explosion, which was picked up by American satellites, it was initially believed that the test was at least a partial failure. However, following careful examination of the initial technical data, some experts reportedly concluded that the test was in fact successful. They were wrong. The US Government expected that there would be additional tests, and that several more tests would be required before Iran was confident of the abilities of the missile. The Washington Times also suggest that the CIA knew that the flight would be in 1998 and also knew of the flight being prepared "first test was imminent" . (6) It was to be a modified No-Dong missile.
In passing it is interesting to note that Pakistan flew its direct copy No-Dong missile (Ghauri-II) on April 6, 1998 some three months before Iran's Shahab-3. The question is why and what does this imply? It would seem to imply that Iran reworked the North Korean No-Dong design while Pakistan bought the whole package missile and its (TEL) Transport Erector Launcher and its simpler mobile support equipment. Iran apparently not only reworked the No-Dong design but also developed its own Mercedes Benz based (TEL) and its extensive separate mobile support equipment but has also probably done the same reworking the two Taep'o-dong launch vehicle designs.
On February 7, 1999 Iran's Defense Minister Ali Shamkani said the following as documented in The Washington Times on March 2,1999 "confirmed that the Shahab-3 is now in production, and that no further flight test are needed." . (7)
Florida Today stated that Iran's defense minister Ali Shamkhani's had said, "The Shahab-3 missile is the last military missile Iran will produce,--- We have no plans for another war missile." (8)
By March 1999, fifteen Shahab-3 missiles would have been produced domestically by Iran based on the Defense Ministers comments after the July 22, 1998 flight test. Reuters, on September 19, 1999 noted that Tehran "struts missile Zelzal which took 4.5 years to develop." (9)
The Washington Times, on September 22, 1999 quoted the Air Intelligence Agency, National Air Intelligence Center of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio report entitled "Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat." Which discussed several issues related to the Iranian missile programs. Those quoted comments from the NAIC publication were as follows:
"Iran is working on the development of at least two medium-range ballistic missiles, The Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 (10)
On February 9, 2000, The Washington Times revealed the following details on North Korea's acquired help from Iran. "North Korea recently sold Iran a dozen medium range ballistic missile engines" ---- (in November 1999)
"The (12) engines arrived in Iran on Nov. 21, after they were spotted being loaded aboard an Iran Air Boeing 747 cargo jet that left Suinan International Airfield about 12 miles north of-----Pyongyang" . These are the same engines used in No-Dong". (11)
Quoting from "Mr. Robert Walpole National Intelligence officer for Strategic and nuclear programs from Congressional testimony in the Washington Times of February 10, 2000 "Those engines are critical to the Taep'o-dong Program,-----of the North Korean's Long-range missile. And they would be critical to the Shahab-3 program and any extensions of the Shahab-3 program".
b--------" The CIA analysis also said North Korea has not stopped developing its Taep'o-dong long-range missile----". (12) The CIA considered the No-Dong derived Shahab-3 to be operational as of February 2000.
According to Jane's Defence Weekly, of March 22, 2000, suggest that "Iran on Feb. 20, 2000 carried out an operational test on a Shahab-3 missile in country. ---- It was launched from a TEL from a new base of the IRGC at Mushhad. The Shahab-3 used a inertial guidance system with a CEP Circular error probability of 3 km." (13)
It remains unclear how accurate this report is based on subsequent events in the Iran's ballistic missile program development. This appears to actually have been a vehicle engine static test firing to test the vehicle systems and engine operation integration.
Additionally it would also appear that a cluster of Shahab-3 class engine was static tested during February 2000 in Iran but only the subsequent history seems to confirm this event. This is separate from the North Korean engine static test firings and from the subsequent launch pad Taep'o-dong-2 first stage systems integration vertical static test firing conducted during the week of June 26th through July 2, 2001.
Iran successfully conducted a full end to end flight test of a Shahab-3 on 15 July 2000. Following the test, the Iranian Defense Ministry told Iranian State television that the Islamic Republic had no intention of using its missiles to attack other countries. This launch appeared to have been quite successful. This launch vehicle probably utilized one of the engines purchased from North Korea instead of a domestically produced engine.
Iran carried out a second flight test of the Shahab-3 as noted in a Reuters news reports, in The Washington Times, July 16, 2000, on July 15, 2000 test which achieved a velocity of 4,320 mph (1,931.04 M/sec.) with a 1 ton warhead. (14)
Another flight test of the Shahab-3 was predicted by the Washington Times on Sept 8, 2000, --- "delayed from the previous week "---. ---"test expected later this month" ---.(15)
Iran then conducted a further third test launch of Shahab-3 or 3D on September 21, 2000, but the missile apparently failed or exploded shortly after liftoff.
On Sept 21, 2000 the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio-1, stated the following, "The first Shahab-3D missile using liquid and solid fuel, was successfully test-fired on the first day of the Holy Defense Week. Announcing the news the Minister of Defense and armed forces logistic said: The missile was built and tested for the purpose of gaining the necessary technology in order to enter the design and production stage of Satellite guidance systems. Vice-Admiral Shamkhani added: The Shahab-3D missile has no military use and only for achieving the preliminary stage of new non-military operations." (16)
The Associated Press further stated, "Iran has successfully test-fired its first solid-liquid fueled missile, which the Defense Minister said was part of a program for launching satellites, ----" (17)
The Washington Times on September 22, 2000 added that the Iranian had tested the Shahab-3D, MRBM for a third time, but "the rocket exploded shortly after liftoff, U. S. Intelligence officials said." " Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told the official IRNA News Agency that the test of the Shahab-3D-----". The Iranian spokesman went on to say that the missile was "solid and liquid fueled" and will be used only for launching communications satellites and not warheads." (18)
Jane's Intelligence Review, in its November 2000 issue stated the following "The Sept. 21, 2000 flight test was a failure according to U. S. officials. It was flown from near the city of Semnan ." (19)
On September 21, 2000 during testimony before the U.S. Senate Mr. Walpole National Intelligence officer for Strategic and nuclear programs discussed the Shahab-3D first launch.
Mr. Walpole " Iran's Defense minister announced the Shahab-4, originally calling it a more capable ballistic missile than the Shahab-3, but later categorizing it as a space launch vehicle with no military applications. -------
"As we have said in open session before, Iran procured No-Dong and then sought Russian assistance to modify that into the Shahab-3, which is a little different approach than Pakistan used to get the Ghauri, which is also a No-Dong. They did not mind trying to change it. They just decided to change its name and buy them outright." (20)
The Shahab-3D test was detected by US space sensors, and announced by an Iranian government spokesman in Tehran. Although Iran claimed the test-launch was a success, US officials said the Shahab-3D exploded shortly after launching. Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani stated that the test of a "Shahab-3D" was conducted in connection with the anniversary of the start of the war with Iraq, which began in 1980 and ended in 1988. The Iranian spokesman said the missile was "liquid and solid-fueled" and would be used for launching communications satellites and not warheads. Iranian sources characterized the missile as being "liquid and solid fueled" but it is known that the Shahab-3 missile consisted of a single liquid propellant first stage. If a smaller solid propellant second stage were added to the Warhead or as a payload boost stage then this would be perhaps the first appearance of the "IRIS" launch vehicle. The IRIS launch vehicle is a Iranian space program related derivation of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile. A launch vehicle of this configuration is ideal as a vertical probe sounding rocket but would almost certainly not be capable of launching a satellite of appreciable mass or capability unless it were intended to be a second and third stage of a larger launch vehicle. However, it would finally give the Shahab-3 missile the range required to cover all of Israel.
Early in 2001 it appeared Iran was preparing for another flight test of the Shahab-3 missile as noted in the January 12, 2001, The Washington Times. "Iran is preparing to conduct another flight test soon-----" full range " flight test gauged a failure on Sept 21, 2000 but it was successful on its second flight test. (21)
More North Korean produced No-Dong class storable liquid propellant rocket engines were apparently shipped to Iran in spite of being held up by a financial disagreement that had delayed the shipment, according to the Washington Times of April 27, 2001. " New shipments of North Korean missile components and technology ----". The article went on to state that the latest shipment of missile parts and their associated documentation was shipped in late February 2000 from North Korea's Sunan international airport which is north of Pyongyang. (22)
This second shipment was apparently delivered to Iran after April 2001. Presumably this latest shipment to Iran from North Korea was flown over China with its permission as was done previously for other shipments.
It was reported in the Middle East Newsline of October 17, 2001 that Iran has placed the domestically produced Shahab-3 MRBM into "serial production" earlier in 2001. (23) It goes on to say that they can produce about "20 missiles a year" domestically with the purchased North Korean No-Dong engines. (23) It suggest that Iran continues to have problems in the production of it own copies of the No-Dong engine.
Of greater significance it would appear according the Middle East Newsline that Iran is attempting to develop a solid propellant equivalent capability Shahab-3 class missile with similar performance requirements based on assistance from the Chinese like was done in Pakistan. It suggest that the Chinese will supply a different guidance system for this project. (23)
Recently, it was suggested that the developing nations missile program warheads would be tumbling about their center of gravity during re-entry, which would then make it difficult to identify. This was because they were not being spun-up along their longitudinal axis prior to re-entry through the atmosphere. A warhead is much like a bullet fired from a rifle barrel. If the barrel is grooved to spin up the bullet along its longitudinal axis it tends to fly through the atmosphere to its target more smoothly and accurately. If the barrel is not built with this capability, the bullet tumbles uncontrollably about its center of gravity throughout its flight in the atmosphere to its target. This tumbling reduces the accuracy of the projectile.
This kind of missile warhead tumbling was noted in the ballistic flights of Iraqi's Scud-B, Scud-C/Al-Hussein, Scud-D/Al-Abbas ballistic missiles during the Gulf War. In this particular case all of the warheads remained attached to the Scud derived rocket bodies. The length of the Scud-C and D missile bodies and the failure to spin up either the missile with its warhead or separate the warhead after missile spin up made them extremely unstable and in accurate during re-entry to their target.
Today this is not the case with North Korean derived warhead technology. North Korea successfully demonstrated payload spin up with its Taep'o-dong-1/Paeutsan-1, solid motor third stage and satellite during that satellite launch attempt. This can plainly be seen in the publicly available North Korean videos released to the press on the Paeutusan-1 launch. Both the solid motor stage and the attached satellite are seen in the video rotating along the centerline longitudinal axis of the two elements. When you think about it technically applying basic Junior high school physics it had to be that way to perform its mission. The only way the stage and satellite combination could be stabilized was to spin them up along the centerline longitudinally axis in order to properly position the third stage solid motor for the orbital insertion burn which is confirmed by the video. While the combination payload rotates about its center of gravity that solid motor has to be precisely positioned and fired in order to place itself in Earth orbit. If it is positioned left or right or up or down from that centerline firing position the payload will be de-orbit by the burn. The Paeutusan-1 solid propellant third stage both demonstrated a near full duration burn and the spin up of the stage and satellite along its longitudinal axis. However, the third stage solid motor ruptured, de-orbiting the satellite, almost immediately after achieving orbital velocity. For further information see the North Korean Taep'o-dong-1/NKSL-1 web site.
Therefore, it would be correct to assume that besides North Korea's, No-Dong (first stage of Taep'o-dong-1), both Pakistan's Ghauri-II and Iran's Shahab-3 all benefit from this spin-up technology. The Shahab-3/Ghauri-II both apparently spin up the single booster stage and warhead combination starting at about 10 seconds before the termination of the powered flight at 110 seconds. At this point after 110 seconds of powered flight the warhead is then separated from the booster stage to fly on a re-entry trajectory that remains stable to its target. With the addition of GPS targeting the warhead accuracy is greatly enhanced. There are still many in the analytical community that question, perhaps correctly, this suggested accuracy of 190 meters, over the excepted 3 kilometers CEP. There can be no doubt that this spin-up technology does improve the accuracy of these warheads over the previously demonstrated poor ballistic capability. Since the warheads are not tumbling it in fact enhances the interceptor sensor signature identification capability verses that of a tumbling warheads signature.
Equally revealing is the fact that this is the area where the Iranian Shahab-3 has repeatedly failed in flight test. If the steering vanes are not equally positioned correctly or are defective in any way the missile and warhead combination would tumble about its center of gravity out of control destroying the missile. The resulting tumbling warhead whether attached to the remaining missile body or not would in all probability be destroyed during its re-entry. It is known that Iran has and continues to suffer from a steering vain quality control problem for its Shahab-3 ballistic missile that the Germans during WW-II solved and that the United States and former Soviet Union were able to easily resolve with out using specialized coating.
It is reported in the Middle East Newsline from a study by the Washington, D.C., Institute of Near East Policy, suggesting that both Iran and Iraq are having considerable trouble adapting nuclear warheads because of their size to their existing MRBMs, Shahab-3 of Iran, the Scud-C's and Scud-D's of Iraq. The report goes further suggest that they may choose to develop aircraft based delivery systems. (24) It is known that Iran has been developing a unmanned cruise missile capability through the use of the existing aircraft available for this potential weapons system as reported in Aviation Week & Space Technology some years ago.
North Korea and Iran do not have the capability to build such a missile.
That's what I meant. I don't think they could do it on their own.
The Shahab-6 is expected to have a range of 5,470-5,500 and 5,632-6,200 kilometers with a 1,000-750-500 kilogram warhead. This range capability will depend on the number of stages used in the launch vehicle and their performance. December 1996 news reports claimed that Iran is developing a 3,500-mile (5,632 kilometers) range missile called Shahab-6 that would be capable of reaching Europe. The technology for this system was cited as coming from Russia and North Korea. Reportedly the missile would become operational by the year 2,000, though others reports claim that Iran intends to complete the development of this system within five to ten years. Presumably this missile will turn out to be a totally redesigned Taep'o-dong-2/NKSL-X-2 Iranian first stage derivation with new redesigned shorter larger diameter second and third stages.
Quoting from the Oct. 1, 1998, The Washington Times, "Israeli, Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Iran is developing the Shahab-4 which can reach well into Europe, and the Shahab-5 and 6, which (will have the capacity) to reach the Eastern Sea board (of the United States)". The article went on to quote from the Blue-ribbon Congressional Commission --- headed by then former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
"In addition to this Scud-based long-range ballistic missile program, Iran has acquired and is seeking major, advanced missile components that can be combined to produce ballistic missiles with sufficient range to strike the United States, "----." (1)
The following information was provided from the July 16, 1999, The Washington Times article. Iran's Kosar launch vehicle was suggested to be the Iranian variant of the North Korea's Taep'o-dong-2 booster. The new missile was said to be undergoing design development with assistance from Russian aerospace technicians and state-run entities. It was suggested that it could be powered with a version of Russia's storable liquid propellant RD-216 closed cycle two engine cluster in its booster first stage. The RD-216 is an Energomash engine originally used on the Skean/SS-5/R-14, IRBM, Saddler/SS-7/R-16, ICBM and Sasin/R-26 ICBM missiles developed during the cold war. It is still used on the C-1, Kosmos/SL-8 Russian space booster. This does suggest fairly strongly that Iran has acquired through elicit means the designs of both the SS-4, RD-214 and the SS-5, RD-216 storable liquid propellant rocket engines and the SS-4 missile body production technology. This is questionable but gives some insight into the Taep'o-dong-2 first stage design. It was based on new information suggesting there had been another rocket engine technology transfer from a Russian rocket engine entity Energomash. (2) No further clarifying information on this has since surfaced.
This unproven rocket engine technology transfer from Russia to Iran would not give Iran the engine documentation or the actual hardware. Nor did it give the Iranians precise engineering drawings of each part or the materials and technology to produce and duplicate that technology. The only application where the Iranians could apply this acquired rocket engine technology is in the Shahab-5 and Shahab-6 boosters programs. However this assumes the Iranians can even produce the engines. Certainly that will take them years beyond their intended design development cycle for those launch vehicles in order for them to assimilate that rocket engine technology. Therefore they are left with no other alternative but to work with the North Korean engine technology in their possession and their rework of it for the Shahab-5 and Shahab-6 programs in cooperation with North Korea.
Ultimately Iran will have to redesign the upper stages of the Taep'o-dong-2, Shahab-5 booster in order to improve its performance to meet the Shahab-6 requirements. This is because of its design aspect ratio, the length to diameter of each stage and the total vehicle length to diameter design and its upper stage mass fraction, the upper stages total structural mass as a function of the aspect ratio that should be minimized. It will also have to develop more powerful storable liquid propellant rocket engines beyond those they are now working with for Shahab-5. This will take Tehran five to seven years under the most optimum of conditions assuming it has the political will, economic vitality, facilities infrastructure, materials, in addition to the trained, educated and experienced personnel to support such an expensive effort of this magnitude. At this point it is far from being a credible threat to the United States.
Presently the Shahab-6 is a design study concept with a better mass fraction and aspect ratio than that of the Shahab-5. That is its upper stages will be shorter and larger in diameter similar to the Chinese CSS-3, and CSS-3A LRICBM. The second stage will probably be the same diameter as the first stage but only time will clarify this design issue. This is where Iran will finally start developing large missiles from scratch on its own beyond what it is doing with Shahab-5. It will take some years for this design of the Shahab-6 to manifest itself as the Shahab-5 the Iranian variant of the North Korean Taep'o-dong-2 nears completion. Several design variations are possible. The concept drawing on this web site only displays the total growth potential implication as displayed in the new North Korean Taep'o-dong-2 gantry umbilical tower. That design is a non-flyable design. The bending moments would break the missile up very early in flight. Thus the Shahab-6 has to be shorter and have larger diameter upper stages than those used in the Taep'o-dong-2 upper stages in order to be flyable.
On February 9, 2000, The Washington Times, disclosed the following information, "The  engines arrived in Iran on Nov. 21, (1999) after they were spotted being loaded aboard an Iran Air Boeing 747 cargo jet that left Suinan International Airfield about 12 miles north of-----Pyongyang (North Korea)". These are the same engines used in No-dong MRBM.
The article went on to state that China is continuing to "sell missile technology to North Korea despite promises ---", and that the North Koreans continue to prepare to flight test the Taep'o-dong-2 launch vehicle.
The article went on to describe several design alternatives for the use of the engines by Iran that could be used to create a Taep'o-dong-2 class booster. When considering the Shahab-5, 6 class booster they could utilize a new first stage equipped with multiple No-dong engines and a second stage equipped with one or more No-Dong engines with a solid motor third stage and warhead. The final concept presented suggested a new first stage equipped with a Russian engine or engine cluster topped with a single or multiple No-Dong engines for a second stage with a solid motor third stage with a warhead. Some of these alternative concepts would certainly address the Taep'o-dong-2 mass fraction and stage aspect ratio problems but such improvements may have to wait for the introduction of the Shahab-6 launch vehicle. (3)
What is the source for this report?
i doubt its a big spoof
their lips are a braggin
and nuts are a dragging
while boasting an end to israel
frankly, even if there is a nice cloud for vegas to view, I think its too late pursueing bunker buster technologies. Sure, they its a new tool but I am thinking unfortunately late. too little too late. Its at the point where something broader in scope need be done.
Russian News and Information Agency
Iran can create nuclear bomb
17:48 | 10/ 03/ 2006 Excerpt follows
Academician Viktor Mikhailov, director of the Strategic Stability Institute of Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy, academic supervisor of Russia's Federal Nuclear Center (Research Institute of Experimental Physics), holder of the Lenin and State prizes, and minister of nuclear energy from 1992 to 1998, in an interview with RIA Novosti military commentator Viktor Litovkin.
Question: Experts say you were one of the fathers of the Iranian nuclear industry. Can you describe its current situation?
Answer: It is true that I was among the initiators and participated in drafting a contract for the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The United States did not want to cooperate with us in the nuclear sphere and advanced unacceptable conditions. Therefore, we had to go east - to Iran, China and India. The Russian nuclear industry was dying; we had to save it and create jobs for unique specialists so as to prevent them from emigrating to countries that want to create their own nuclear bombs.
I have not been to Iran since I had left the post of the nuclear minister. But during my visits there I saw that Iran had very high nuclear research standards, which is not surprising. Nearly all Iranian scientists, researchers and nuclear engineers graduated from U.S. and West European universities with high standards of education. Iran continues to train its specialists there. As far as I know, about 10,000 Iranians are studying in Europe and the U.S. Iranian laboratories had highly efficient computer equipment, which the U.S. prohibited to sell to Russia, as well as other equipment made by the leading Western companies, such as Siemens. I think that the nuclear sector of the Iranian economy is maintained at a very high research and technical level.
Q: Can Iran create nuclear weapons soon?
A: This is a frequently asked question. I am sometimes asked if Iran wants to create such weapons or is thinking about the possibility, and I always reply that it does and is. It is impossible to retain national independence and sovereignty now without nuclear weapons. The U.S. wants to use military methods to spread its form of democracy to countries that have their own rich history and have contributed much to humankind. But Washington disregards these nations, their customs and traditions, trying to change them to the American way of life, which is impossible.
Q: And still, can Iran create its own nuclear weapons or not?
A: Of course it can. Any developed country can do this now, even through the Internet, but this takes much time and money. How much? Iran will create - can create - its nuclear bomb in five to ten years.
It will not be as sophisticated as the nuclear weapons of Russia or the U.S., but it will do. The Americans are afraid of this, whatever BMD systems they create, because nuclear death can come not from the air but in many other ways. They fear a single nuclear explosion in their territory.
In naming it No-Dong, was that because it's emasculated or, because it's a female?
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What are you doing posting super-secret atomic vacuum cleaner spy drawings? Is Our Man in Havana been reassigned to Teheran?
That's a fine drawing, but from my studies, it looks like North Korea lacks the expertise to make a functional wristwatch.(Seriously, they basically stole a bunch of swiss machine tools in the 1970's, and have had...mixed results operating them. Mixed, as in buy a sundial.)
I kid, I kid. The inability to make consumer goods is not that important in a command economy, or for strategic considerations. Spend enough scarce resources, and sometimes indigenous weapons programs work A-ok. In this case, maybe North Korean missile technology works like a charm.
The real question is exactly what we know about the terrifying weapon, which right now is nothing other than what the Iranians want us to. They have every incentive to say it is the most lethal thing since spoiled kim chee. Until I see some evidence that this is a fielded, reliable, and accurate weapon I'm not going to be too impressed.
Of course, adaquate evidence might streak down on Tel Aviv, cause WWIII, and the end of my life and yours, but everything is a gamble. Big claims need big proof, and a bunch of bucknuts theocrats surrounded by potential enemies might not be the most reliable source of it.