Iranian Ballistic Missile Scores a Direct Hit on a Target Ship

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Iran demonstrated today a new type of short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) based on the Fatah 110 platform, capable of hitting targets at a range of up to 250-300 km with high precision. During an operational demonstration the missile was fired at a target vessel floating in the Persian Gulf, scoring a direct hit. Accordingly, the new missile was named ‘Persian Gulf (Khalij Fars).

Iran demonstrated today its capability to hit a floating target with precision guided, short range ballistic missile of the Fatah 110 (M-600) class. Photo: FARS news agency

The guided version of Fateh 110 can strike targets on land or at sea with 450kg warhead. Photo: FARS news agency

The missile apparently uses mid-course inertial guidance (INS) and an electro-optical homing seeker to achieve terminal attack precision. Previous versions of the Fateh 110 (also designated M-600 in Syrian use) used a tipped nose, while the current model has a rounded nose presumably housing the guidance kit. As the new version demonstrated in this test, the accuracy of the new missile is far better than the 0.3% of the range, attributed for the earlier model of Fateh 110 which relied only on inertial guidance. This type of solid-rocket propelled missile can carry a 450 kg warhead.

The new missile was endorsed by the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari.  He also announced that the IRGC has completed the development of a long-range, passive radar covering a 1,100km-radius. The new radar is intended to provide effective detection of surface naval targets. According to western analysts, Iran’s Fateh 110 is based on the Chinese DF-11A SRBM. However, the Chinese missile has not been reported to have anti-ship capabilities.

With Iran possessing such capabilities, the implications for the U.S. Navy are serious. The combination of passive targeting system with the precision demonstrated by the new Iranian missile means that Iran could potentially track U.S. Navy carrier groups at long distances, when they operate in the Arabian Sea, at relatively long distances from their coastline.

EO Guided version of Fateh 110 (M-166) Iranian missile With this data the Iranians could try to target the US carriers without early warning. It also means that the U.S. Navy cannot consider presence at the Arabian Gulf as safe, until AEGIS destroyers demonstrate their capability to effectively engage and eliminate guided ballistic missile threats such as the ones demonstrated by Iran.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. hardly a massive issue. The US Air Force already has a ready made answer in the LAIRCM (or simple modification of that system).

    LAIRCM can be used to blind the incoming missile, denying it terminal guidance capability.

    Besides, with a high trajectory, STANDARD, ESSM and RAM missile systems should have plenty of time to deal with such a threat before the LAIRCM would even be required…….

    • Don’t be so sure, we are talking Mach 8 closing speed, not sure ESSM is designed for these speeds. I’m certain RAM is not. As for Standard – it is designed for this role in the SM-3 and that’s what we refer to in this post. We are covering these issues not to create panic but to highlight issues that must be addressed and resolved soon, to maintain forces preparedness and minimize the risk of surprise.

    • Such task is never simple, as the time needed to activate countermeasures (disperse smoke) effectively is extremely short. While theoretically doable, easy or simple it is definitely not…

      • a missile @ mach 3 will take 5 minutes to reach target at 300 km and a ship travelling at 30 knots will be 5 km away by that time. USN ships with AEGIS can track the missile at launch time and can activate countermeasures or use SM-3 missiles to knockout anti ship missile.

  2. Well done of Iran peoples.

    My homeland CHINA have similar product, of which namely DF21 series for big carrier. Do our Iran friends like it? I suspect that we can export this product to friendly partners before 2020.

  3. With the recent tensions and goings on between Iran and the West these days I would think this would be the prefect platform to enforce a blockade of the straits to tanker traffic if Iran decided to bring the hammer down. Wouldn’t even need the passive radar…spotters on the coast (Iran or Oman) could simply note when a target enters a predefined kill zone and….birds away…

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