Iran is fielding a new version of the C-802 anti-ship missile designed to defeat large surface combattants. The Qader missile can be launched from surface naval platforms or from vehicles, in its coastal defense configuration. Following qualification tests carried out in August 2011 off the Streits of Hurmoz, the first production lot of missiles was handed to the Iranian Navy and Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in September, 2011. The missile carried a smaller warhead 1/6 of the size of the full warhead, but, according to the IRGC commander, the missile succeeded to sink the target vessel. Iran claims the missile is capable of defeating large surface vessels and aircraft carriers.
On launch the Qader uses a solid rocket booster, accelerating the missile on its initial phase. Then, the missile’s turbojet sustainer kicks in propelling the missile through its midcourse phase. The solid rocket powered C-701 and rocket booster/turbojet powered C-802 derivatives of Chinese anti-ship missiles, are both locally produced by Iran. Unlike these two ‘anti-ship’ missile types, the new Qader is designated a ‘cruise missile’, for its long range (more than 200km). The weapon’s jam-resistant radar and digital, programmable guidance system are claimed to be two of the enhancements introduced by the Iranians.
In May 2011 Iran also unveiled a land-based terminally guided ballistic missile capable of hitting vessels at sea at distances exceeding 200 km.