New Iranian Missile Could Strike Central Europe: Analysis

June 30, 2020

Breaking Defense

On the 22nd of April, Iran surprised the world by successfully launching the Noor satellite, using a previously unknown Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) which they call Qased.

The US Space Force confirmed that Noor reached orbit, together with a second object, assessed as the spent upper stage.

A detailed analysis of the Qased, based on open sources and using computer simulations to calculate trajectories, shows it has a strong relationship to the Shahab-3 ballistic missile Qasedand the Safir SLV, together with a number of unusual features for an SLV. If SLV compromises were removed, restoring the design optimization for use as a ballistic missile, the Qased can reach Central Europe and parts of Northern Europe, depending on its payload mass.

Iran’s previous satellite launch attempts have been notoriously unreliable. Last year a Safir SLV exploded on its launch pad and the much larger Simorgh SLV has never successfully placed a payload in orbit.

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