Facts

Designation Zolfaghar
Missile Variants Fateh-110 family
Mobility and Role Road-mobile/Short-Range Ballistic Missile
Designer/Producer Islamic Republic of Iran
Range 700km
Warhead Type and Weight Cluster/Unknown
MIRV and Yield N.A.
Guidance System/Accuracy Inertial, GPS/100m CEP “est”
Stages/Propellant Single/Solid
IOC/Retirement 2016/N.A.
Status/Number of Units Testing/Unknown

Overview

The Zolfaghar (alternately spelled Zulfiqar) short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) is a variant of the Fateh-110 SRBM family. Developed as a part of a larger campaign to “improve the range and accuracy of current missile systems,”[i] the solid-fueled Zolfaghar is reported to have a range of 700km and possess a cluster munition warhead.[ii] Some Iranian press reports have claimed the Zolfaghar is accurate within 10 meters and equipped with multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRV), but this information has not been verified.[iii]

Strategic Implications

Despite that fact that the Zolfaghar SRBM first appeared during a parade in September 2016 aboard a vehicle decorated with a banner displaying an anti-Israeli message,[iv] the Israel sits well outside of the missile’s 700 kilometer range.[v] Rather, the Zolfaghar poses a threat to its more immediate neighbors.[vi] The missile’s greater strategic significance, then, is its demonstration of a growing Iranian ballistic missile capability. Whether the Zolfaghar enters mass production remains to be seen.[vii]


Sources

[i] J.D. Syring, Statement Before the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, April 13, 2016, https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Syring_04-13-16.pdf.

[ii] Jeremy Binnie, “Iran Claims Zolfaghar Missile has 700 km Range,” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 28 September, 2016, http://www.janes.com/article/64149/iran-claims-zolfaghar-missile-has-700-km-range.

[iii] Behnam Ben Taleblu, “Assessing the Latest Iranian Ballistic Missile: The Zulfiqar,” Qualitative Military Edge, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, September 29, 2016, http://militaryedge.org/analysis-articles/assessing-latest-iranian-ballistic-missile-zulfiqar/.

[iv] Associated Press, “Iran ‘Determined to Boost Military After U.S.-Israel Deal,” Real Clear Defense, September 21, 2016, http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2016/09/21/iran_determined_to_boost_military_after_us-israel_deal_110100.html.

[v] Michael Rubin, “Iran Launches New Zulfiqar Ballistic Missile,” American Enterprise Institute, November 16, 2016, https://www.aei.org/publication/iran-launches-new-zulfiqar-ballistic-missile/.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Taleblu,” Assess the Latest Iranian Ballistic Missile.”

Missile Threat and Proliferation

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