Surface Forces: Iran Succeeds With Clones


April 25, 2015:   Iran announced on March 14 2015 that it had begun mass production of the Qader anti-ship missile. This weapon is said to have a range of 300 kilometers. This is not a new design but appears to be the latest development in an Iranian effort to create clones of the Chinese C-802 (“Silkworm”) anti-ship missiles. Iran ordered some of these in 1995 but China was pressured to respect the international weapons embargoes on Iran and did not ship all the missiles Iran ordered. China kept silent as Iran proceeded to reverse-engineer the few C-802s it did have. China has long bought Iranian oil and has been ready to help develop Iranian oil fields once embargoes are lifted. So China did not protest the reverse-engineering efforts.

The C-802 is old technology anyway. The C-802 (and early Iranian copies) are 6.2 meter (20 foot) long, 360mm, 682 kg (1,500 pound) missiles with a 164 kg (360 pound) warhead. The C-820 has a max range of 120 kilometers, and moves along at about 250 meters a second. By 2001 Iran was openly testing these C-802 clones, which were called Qader or Noor. By 2011 there was a version with a range of 200 kilometers and an improved guidance system. The latest version has a range of 300 kilometers and probably an even more effective guidance system. Meanwhile the Chinese kept improving the C-802, making it more reliable and accurate. There were also several variants including a cruise missile version with a range of 500 kilometers.

Qader has been available for use on ships, from truck mounted launchers (in trucks designed to look like civilian cargo transports) and from aircraft.



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