Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pentagon: 'Iran developing technical capability to produce an ICBM'


Pentagon: 'Iran developing technical capability to produce an ICBM'

WASHINGTON — Iran has been working to increase the range and accuracy of its ballistic missile arsenal, a U.S report said.

The U.S. Defense Department said that Iran was introducing new and upgraded missiles for military exercises. A Pentagon report said Iran was working toward the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile within two years.

Iran's Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic liquid-fuel missile.
Satyar Emami/Fars

"Iran has ambitious ballistic missile and space launch development programs and continues to attempt to increase the range, lethality, and accuracy of its ballistic missile force," the report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center said.

In a report released on July 11, the air center said Iran has advanced in the two-stage Safir space-launch vehicle and unveiled the larger two-stage Simorgh SLV. The Iranian military has also modified its Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic liquid-fuel missile to extend its range while deploying the solid-fuel Sejil.

"Iranian ballistic missile forces continue to train extensively in highly publicized exercises," the report, "Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat, said. "These exercises enable Iranian ballistic missile forces to hone wartime operational skills and evolve new tactics. Iran is fielding increased numbers of theater ballistic missiles, improving its existing inventory, and is developing the technical capability to produce an ICBM."

The report said the Shihab-3, believed to undergo serial production, has reached a range of 2,000 kilometers. Sejil, which also underwent multiple launches, also was said to contain a range of 2,000 kilometers.

"Iranian solid-propellant rocket and missile programs are also progressing," the report said.

The report also reviewed Iran's short-range missile programs, said to receive support from China, North Korea and Russia. They were identified as the Qiam-1, Fateh-110, the fourth-generation weapon of which was tested in 2012.

"A seeker has likely been added to the [Fateh-110] missile to improve the system's accuracy against sea-based targets," the report said.

Another Iranian program was identified as Meshkat. Teheran has announced the development of Meshkat, described as a cruise missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers.

"Iran recently announced the development of the 2,000-kilometer range Meshkat cruise missile, with plans to deploy the system on air-, land-, and sea-based platforms," the report said. "The Club-K cruise missile container launcher weapons system, produced and marketed by a Russian firm, looks like a standard shipping container. The company claims the system can launch cruise missiles from cargo ships, trains, or commercial trucks."


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