The information in the section is currently being reviewed and updated and should not be taken as being 100% accurate. - October 9th 2010
Iranian Domestic Air-to-Ground Weaponry
Iranian Domestic Air-to-Ground Weaponry
As Always, images are able to be viewed full size by right clicking then 'view-image'
Developed midway through the Iran-Iraq war, Zoobin, or ‘Arrow’ in Farsi,
is also known by its designation, AGM-379/20 and as such belongs to the first generation of Iranian PGM’s (1) The Zoobin is rocket powered, possibly by the mk. 58 Hercules used on the IRIAF’s stock of AIM-7’s, or possibly the TX-481 from the AGM-65’s. Of course, neither can be confirmed.
The bomb itself is built around the body of the M117 general-purpose bomb. This explosive is located midway through the missile body, bolted to the four main wings.(2) I believe this is possibly supplemented by an additional amount of explosive, likely a shaped charge located forward of the M117 body in the nose of the missile, the large nose being significantly larger then what is required for the seeker. Of course this entirely depends on my estimations on where the body of the M117 ends and the “AGM-65” section starts, something that cannot be certifiably determined.
The guidance unit is a standard daylight TV seeker taken from the AGM-65 Maverick and is located visibly in the nose of missile. Control surfaces are located on the four rear fins; the larger forward wings are static, providing only lift.
The Zoobin has been tested on the usual F-4E ‘bomb-truck’ platform used by the IRIAF as well as the F-5. The missile has a launch ceiling of anywhere from 300-30,000 ft, the max height being the same as the AGM-65 Maverick. (3)
Here is the Zoobin, located behind the Kite-2000 Chaf/Flare dispenser
The next bomb of interest is the Qadr, or the GBU-67. Developed around the same time as the Zoobin, the Qadr derives its name means ‘Force’. (4) The Qadr is no doubt based off the original GBU-8 of which the US supplied documentation of to Iran during the 1970’s (5)
The Qadr is built around the body of a 2,000 lb mk. 84 genera purpose bomb, but as with the Zoobin, may or may not include an additional amount of explosives in the nose of the bomb. Four long, but shallow glide fins run the length of the bomb from the beginning of the guidance unit back to the directional fins at the rear.
Like the Zoobin, the Qadr takes the guidance unit, a daylight TV seeker, straight from the AGM-65 missile, and controls the flight of the bomb through four directional vanes at the tail.
One distinguishing feature from the Zoobin is that while the Zoobin is rocket powered, the Qadr is an unpowered glide-bomb with only the control vanes at the rear to control its fall.
The Qadr has been used, both on the F-5 as well as the F-4. (6)
First here is a good shot of the Qadr on parade
Close-up of the Qadr Seeker head, from a 2002 show.
I am using this mashup of the terms “Zoobin” and “Qadr” to describe the mystery missile being fired from an F-4E over the Qom Salt Lake in the 1990’s. (7While at first glance it appears to be a Qadr as it lacks the distinctive mid-section wings. However at second glance, the rocket motor and the fact that the body is the 750 lb M117 of the Zoobin make one question if its not the Zoobin. The question is an interesting one, which bomb is it, because it bears similarities to both. The answer is probably neither, because, as I said, it bears similarities to both and ultimately rests simply on ones own interpretation of what makes a Qadr a Qadr and what makes a Zoobin a Zoobin.
Not much is known, the only information coming from the same mock-up that is seen on yearly parades. However we can tell that the Yasser is not so much a missile as it is a large rocket, no sensor in the nose is visible as well as a complete lack of steering fins.
The business end is the 750 lb M117 bomb that forms the head of the rocket, the same as the Zoobin.
The rocket however forms a good two-thirds of the length of the rocket, considerably larger then its counterpart on the Zoobin or the “ZooQadr”. Given its appearance, it is likely the rocket motor is a direct conversion from, or a derivitive of the motor on the AIM-23C, otherwise known aas the HAWK SAM. The main explanation for this is likely that the rocket serves to extend the range of the bomb near exponentially as well as give it deeper penetrating power. Combined, the factors of lack of guidance as well as the extreme long range and penetrating power, we can conclude that the Yasser is likely used in attacking static facilities, the rocket enabling a greater stand-off distance.
Yasser at the TAB 4 Airshow in 2008
Along the same lines of the Yasser, is the Sagheb. The Sagheb is another conversion kit for the M117 bomb, and like the Yasser, its an unguided rocket system 4 static fins in roughly the same style. However unlike the Yasser, it’s a considerably smaller system, the rocket portion a bit shorter then the warhead portion. It likely fills the same role, just simply a smaller missile.
Sagheb on parade
The first member of the Sattar family, the Sattar-1 closely resembles the AGM-65 Maverick. However the one key difference is the conspicuous lack of the traditional TV guidance unit in the front of the missile. The next possible explanation for this is that it’s a dumb rocket in the same manner as the Yasser or the Sagheb, but clearly evident are the Maverick-style control fins at the rear. Of course there exists the ever present possibility that this is simply a mock-up existing as part of psyops warfare. Piggybacking along with this idea is the possibility that it was only ever a prototype ot a general concept that was passed over in favor of other systems.
Regardless of its status, there is some information we can glean from its outward appearance. First among these is that is appears to be rocket powered due to its similarity to the AGM-65. There is also a signigicantly larger gap between the static wings and the guidance fins then in the original AGM-65, indicating a larger rocket motor, and consequently longer range. In addition to this, the shape of the nosecone, sharper, more in the style of the AIM-54 then in the more circuler required for the TV seeker of the AGM-65, indicates that it has not merely been obscured for public showing.
This leaves us with the most-likely scenario, judging from the rest of the Sattar series which are laser-guided, we can guess this is the case with the Sattar-1. However the problem here is that in every picture we have seen of it, it is lacking the traditional laser tracker mounted on the ubiquitous gimbal mount. However this is most likely due to the fact that we are being shown the same mock-up every single time rather then seing the full range of Sattar-1's produced, i'll emphazise the fact that these are simply mock-ups, not operational rounds such as the Kh-29 or Kh-58 training rounds often shown.
It has been said that the Sattar-1 weighs 1,000 kg, roughly 2,200 pounds which sounds approximately correct for a missile that size given that the Qased is also 2000 pounds.
In the same report, it was mentioned that the Azarakhsh was specially strengthened in order to fit the “Sattar-1/2 laser and electro-optical precision guided munitions.”(8) Of course he never cites this information meaning its questionable at best.
The Sattar-1 has been canceled in favor of newer projects.
Sattar-1 in an old parade, the Sedjeel is front while the Sattar is in the background
The Sattar-2 remains outwardly the sane as the Sattar-1, bearing a rough similarity to the original AGM-65. However in the one picture we have seen of it, the laser tracker is visible so we can at least give a shaky confirmation to the guidance of the Sattar-1. It is unclear exactly what this new tracker is though, it would definitly be an improvement over the 1st model though.
The Sattar-3 is a derivative of the Sattar-1, maintaining the original body. The most noticeable change to the system is of the configuration of the fins, stead of going with a configuration like that on the AGM-65, they instead went with a system reminiscent of the KAB-250L, though I’m not indicating there is any connection between the two projects, they merely look alike. This shifts the control fins from the back of the missile to the front.
The next change is in the guidance mechanism, while the system on the Sattar-1 is unclear, it is clear that the Sattar-3 is laser guised as indicated by the gimbal on the front of the nose. The laser designator in question is the TLS-89 that is fitted on the F-4 Phantom.
At roughly the same size as the Sattar-1, it would weigh the same and contain many of the same components such as the amount of explosive as well as the possible existence of rocket propulsion.
Sattar-3 on parade - Sacred Defence Week 2009, also visible is the laser designator. Although the numbering says "76" indicating it might be something new
A better view of the gimbal on the front.
No information available as it has not been seen.
The Qassed, otherwise known as the AGM-78, is one of the newer generations of Iranian munitions, being announced recently in 2006.
The Qassed can be seen as a successor to the Qadr, that is, a large PGM derived from the mk. 84.
Specifically, as mentioned, the 2,000 lb mk. 84 general purpose bomb forms the body of the Qassed. This is complemented by the same AGM-65 seeker on the front of the missile that graces the vast majority of other Iranian PGM’s. Bridging the two parts are four large static strakes that serve to provide lift and stability. Meanwhile the control mechanism is in the back, located behind four large wings are the control fins, identical to those found on the Qadr.
One item is of note with regards to the seeker, immediately below the seeker head is an unknown indent into the missile, and within this indent is a small black object that may or may not be some type of lens or tracker, unfortunately it is only visible during a poor-quality video so its impossible to be sure of what it is.
Some have called it laser-guided but I find this unlikely, first is the clear shot of the TV seeker in the head which is similar to the one seen on the Qadr and the AGM-65. Second is that in the video released of the test it clearly showed the US of a TV scope for guidance. However in addition to this, it has been announced that it uses "thermal imaging" instead of the original daylight-only television sight used on the Zoobin and the Qadr. (9) While not visually apparent, this is entirely plausible given the evolution of targeting mechanisms. To place this in context, the sighting would be roughly equivelent to AGM-65F. This is a valuable development as it allows night-time bombing instead of being restricted to daytime.
Also like the Qadr, it is unpowered, as is evident in the video released of the tests.
It bears a significant similarity to the US GBU-15 series, though this is less likely to be a case of reverse engineering of stolen material as some have cried, but rather when building the same type of weapon, getting the same result, as well as not trying to reinvent the wheel so-to-speak. In other words, when you make an unpowered 2000 lb, optically guided smart bomb, there are only so many designs you can or should choose.
The development has been announced as recently as March 2010, indicating testing is only just beginning. Nothing yet has been revealed beyond an increase in precision, destructive power and range. As with most of Iran's military announcments this is horribly vague. One possibility is the addition of a rocket booster, a common 2nd generation upgrade. Also, there is the possibility of replacing the original TV seeker with some kind of IR seeker that would give it an a night fighting capability. (10) But at this point, it remains nothing more then conjecture.
(1) “AGM-379/20 Zoobin”. Global Security. 10-07-2008. http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...ran/zoobin.htm
(2)“Iran Reveals Combat-Proven PGM Family”. Jane’s Information Group. December 4th 2002 http://www.janes.com/aerospace/milit...1204_1_n.shtml
(3) ibd Janes Information Group
(4) “GBU-67/9A Qadr”. Global Security. 10-07-2008 http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita.../iran/qadr.htm
(5) “Iranian PGMs”. ACIG Forums.
(6) ibd Janes Information Group
(7) ibd ACIG Forums
(8) “US vs Iran vs Hybrid War” Dr. Abbas Bakhiar. Global Geopolitics Net. January 1st 2007. http://globalgeopolitics.net/arc/010...ar-Iran-US.htm
(9) "Iranian Air-Launched Missiles" Iran Defense Forum
(10) "Iran to Test Fire Optimized Smart Bombs" Fars News Agency. 2010-03-01 http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8812101508