Ghadr-1

Ghadr-1
Originated From:Iran
Possessed By:Iran
Alternate Name:Ghadr-110, Ghadr-101, Shahab 3A variant
Length:15.86 m
Launch Weight:19,000 kg
Payload:Single warhead, 800 kg
Warhead:Nuclear, chemical, HE, submunitions
Propulsion:Liquid first-stage, solid second-stage propellant
Range:1,950 km
Status:Unknown
In Service:2007

The Ghadr-1 is a medium-range ballistic missile currently being designed and developed by Iran. Sources indicate that the missile will have a range of approximately 1,800 km, which would allow it to attack targets in Israel and across the Middle East. 1 Given recent reports from 2008, it is possible that this missile system is operational, yet there have been no conclusive or publicly visible tests of the weapon. The only acknowledgement of the Ghadr-1 is its public display on parade and unconfirmed reports of ground testing of its propulsion system.

The Ghadr-1 appears to be an improved variant of the Shahab-3A, also referred to as the Ghadr-101 and the Ghadr-110. There are mixed reports regarding the new missile. In 2004, it was believed to have a liquid-fuel first stage and a solid-fuel second stage. 2 According to Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems, this would allow it to have a range of 1,950 km. The length is thought to be 15.86 m, with a launch weight of about 19,000 kg. If reports regarding the Ghadr-1 accuracy are correct, then it would be a significant improvement of the Shahab 3 (2,500 CEP). A December 2008 report noted a CEP of 300 for the Ghadr-1. 3 Reports also indicate the possibility that Ghadr could be designed to carry a nuclear payload. This possibility is raised with uncertainty as the Ghadr appears to be comparable to the Shahab system, whose apparent goal is to obtain such a payload. 4

The Ghadr-1 is also believed to have a higher maneuverability than the Shahab-3. While some sources believe that it is the same missile as the Shahab 4, the higher maneuverability as well as the 30 minute set-up time provide sufficient evidence to consider this a separate missile. 5 Additionally, sources from 2007 report that the Ghadr 1 may have a significantly shorter stated range than originally projected in 2004. It remains classified as an MRBM and is now considered distinct from its shorter range, Shahab-3, and longer range, Shahab-4, counterparts. 6 Sources also indicate that the Ghadr-1 is being manufactured entirely in Iran at the top-secret Hemmat Missile Industries Complex. 7 An article from December 2007, though, cites interaction between the German Intelligence agencies and Iranian nationals within German borders. The report states that on more than one occasion Iranian nationals have been held in conjunction with the smuggling of “dual use goods.” These items are usually converted for their secondary use, military needs, in Iran after their transit from Germany. Reports indicate that these dual use goods were used in the development of the Ghadr-1 missile system. 8

In December of 2004 the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claimed ongoing research and ground testing of the Ghadr-1. 9 In March 2006, the same group claimed that Iran had ramped up its development of the Ghadr-1, allegedly 70 percent complete at the time. The NCRI added that the new missile was expected to be entirely complete in one year’s time. 10 Reports from October 2007 indicate that Teheran unveiled the Ghadr whose shape was very similar to that of the Shahab-3 MRBM. 11

  1. Douglas Jehl, “Iran is Said to Work on New Missile; Dissident Group Says Longer-Range Weapon Could Reach Europe,” International Herald Tribune, 2 December 2004; “Iran Working on Secret Missile Programs: Opposition Group,” AFP, 2 December 2004.
  2. Robin Hughes, “Iranian Resistance Group Alleges Tehran Is Developing New Medium-Range Ballistic Missile,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 13 March 2006; Doug Richardson, “Iran Is Developing an IRBM, Claims Resistance Group,” Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, 1 January 2005; “Iran Working on Secret Missile Programs: Opposition Group,” Agence France Presse, 2 December 2004.
  3. Lennox, Duncan. “Shahab 3/4 (Ghadr-1).” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons). February 2, 2012. (accessed September 12, 2012).
  4. Laurent Zecchini, Joëlle Stolz à Vienne, “L’opposition iranienne accuse Téhéran de poursuivre un programme nucléaire secret ; L’Iran aurait franchi une nouvelle étape vers la fabrication d’une bombe atomique,” Le Monde, 5 February 2005, www.lemonde.fr, Accessed 6 June 2008.
  5. Cf. “Top Secret Ghadr Missile Project,” Iran Watch.org, 3 December 2004, available at http://www.iranwatch.org/privateviews/NCRI/perspex-ncri-missiles-120304.htmwith Duncan Lennox, ed., Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems 46 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, January 2007), 71-73. Hughes, 13 March 2006; Richardson, 1 January 2005. Iran Watch.org, 3 December 2004. Accessed on 6 June 2008.
  6. Hughes, 13 March 2006.
  7. IranWatch.org, 3 December 2004. Accessed on 6 June 2008.
  8. Madeline Chambers, “Iran’s New Weapon to hit Europe- Building Long-Range Missiles,” The Daily Telegraph, Sydney 4 December 2004, http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/, Accessed on 6 June 2008.
  9. Brian Bender, “Iran Said To Sharpen Nuclear Program Exile Group Contends Better Missile with Long Range Works,” The Boston Globe, 3 December 2004, www.globe.com, Accessed on 6 June 2008.
  10. Alon Ben-David, “Iran Presents Ghadr — A ‘New’ Ballistic Missile,” Janes Defense Weekly, 3 October 2007.
  11. “German Report says Iran Secretly procures arms material in Germany,” BBC Monitoring Europe – Political, 9 December 2007, www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/, Accessed 6 June 2008.
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