The Iranian M-11 is a short-range, road-mobile, solid propellant ballistic missile domestically produced and based off of the exported version from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The PRC’s M-11 (DF-11/CSS-7) is an improved version of the Russian Scub B. Reports indicate a degree of uncertainty as to the status of the M-11 project.
As an improved Scud, M-11 is designed for deployment against fixed, large targets. Its range easily outdistances most conventional weapons, and the mobility obtained from a mobile launch vehicle allows it to be deployed during a military conflict. While it is insufficiently accurate to target individual military units, it could be used to attack small areas such as military bases, airfields and cities.
The original M-11 is 7.5 m in length, has a diameter of 0.8 m and a launch weight of approximately 3,800 kg. It is possible that the weight is significantly less on the Iranian variant in order to increase its range. The Iranian variant is classified as carrying a 490 kg warhead, which can be equipped with high explosive, chemical, submunitions, fuel-air explosive (FAE) or a nuclear yield of 2, 10 or 20 kT. It has a range that is probably less than 290 km, to remain within the limits of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). 1 The accuracy of the weapon would be increased with the projected separating warhead. The separating warhead is a design feature that requires the warhead to detach itself from the missile body and continue on to its objective. The warhead is then able to adjust its trajectory based on fin design and its range due to weight redistribution. This attribute would be unique to the Iranian version.
The Iranian M-11 variant appears to have been brought to Iran from China. It most likely would have occurred at the same time that Pakistan received similar weapons. This time period is unclear but would have occurred before Pakistan’s first successful test in 2002. The M-11 was reportedly brought in pieces and later reassembled. Reports indicate that the Iranians could have obtained up to eighty of these weapons along with their Transporter-Erector-Launcher vehicles. These reports remain unconfirmed as Iran has not displayed or tested this weapon. 2 Reports confirm that the M-11 is the nuclear capable Pakistani Shaheen 1. 3 Reports also confirm the transfer of technology and support between Pakistan and Iran, in addition to Chinese aid. 4
More information about the M-11 can be found in the description for the PRC DF-11/CSS-7.
Last Updated 9/24/2012
- Lennox, Duncan. “M-11 Variant.” Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems (Offensive Weapons). September 7, 2012. (accessed September 12, 2012) ↩
- Lennox, “M-11 Variant.” ↩
- Bill Gertz ,”China’s Broken Promises Outlined; Helms Makes List of Arms Offenses,” The Washington Times, 23 July 2001, www.washtimes.com/ , Accessed 6 June 2008. ↩
- “Nukes for Sale,” The Statesman, India, www.thestatesman.net, 2 March 2004, Accessed 6 June 2008. ↩