Strategic Weapons: The Silos Of Khorramabad

Archives

March 3, 2009: Iran is building a fortified missile storage and launch complex for at least fifteen Shahab 3 missiles outside Khorramabad (near the Iraq border in the Zagros mountains). It is called the Imam Ali missile base and is run by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Shahab 3 missile is basically 1960s technology, with the addition of GPS guidance. Russian and North Korean missile technology has been obtained to make the Shahab 3 work. This has resulted in a missile that apparently will function properly about 80 percent of the time, and deliver a warhead of about one ton, to a range of some 1,300 kilometers, to within a hundred meters of where it was aimed. By world standards, this is a pretty effective weapon.

The Shahab 3 normally travels on a tractor trailer rig that can also raise the missile into a launch position. But it takes several hours to fuel the missile and otherwise prepare it for launch. Thus the Iranian tactics are to drive the missiles and fuel trucks out to a remote location for erecting and launching. The Khorramabad base also shows signs of silo construction.

Iran is believed to have been building Shahab 3s since 2004, even though they continue to refine the design, and conduct test firings. Iran is believed to have 50-100 Shahab 3s, and is building about one a month. There are indications that production has increased. Israel appears to be the main target. Iran has threatened Israel with destruction, rather openly of late. Shahab 3's could be fired with high explosive warheads, and hit, with enough accuracy, to kill mostly Jews, and not Israeli Arabs or Palestinians. Iran also has chemical (nerve gas) warheads, and Israel has threatened nuclear retaliation if they get hit by chemical warheads.

A longer range version, the Ghadr, has been in the works for several years. It has a longer (1,800 kilometers) range, and can be readied for launch in less than an hour, rather than several hours for the Shahab 3. There have been several well observed (by foreign intel agencies) tests in the last two years.

 


Article Archive

Strategic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close