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The Iranian Threat

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Iran's Long-Range Rockets Could Reach America By 2015

July 13th 2013

Iran Missiles

U.S. intelligence says that Iran has ambitious ballistic missile and space launch development programs and continues to attempt to increase the range, lethality, and accuracy of its ballistic missile force. Iranian ballistic missile forces continue to train extensively in highly publicized exercises. These exercises enable Iranian ballistic missile forces to hone wartime operational skills and evolve new tactics. Iran is fielding increased numbers of theater ballistic missiles, improving its existing inventory, and is developing the technical capability to produce an ICBM.

Iran has an extensive missile development program, and has received support from entities in Russia, China, and North Korea. The Iranian Shahab 3 MRBM is based on the North Korean No Dong missile. Iran has modified the Shahab 3 to extend its range and effectiveness, with the longest range variant reportedly being able to reach targets at a distance of about 2,000 kilometers. Iran also claims to have mass-produced Shahab 3 missiles. Iranian solid-propellant rocket and missile programs are also progressing. Iran has conducted multiple launches of the Sejjil, a solid-propellant MRBM with a claimed range of 2,000 kilometers. In addition, Iran has conducted multiple launches of the Safir, a multistage SLV that can serve as a test bed for long-range ballistic missile technologies.

The report states that recent conflicts have highlighted missile defense capabilities and provided the incentive for continued missile defense development, in turn, motivating ballistic missile developers to pursue missile defense countermeasures. Some missile developers have already begun to develop countermeasures such as maneuvering rockets, and are expected to continue countermeasure development. "Current trends indicate adversary ballistic missile systems are becoming more mobile, survivable, reliable, and accurate while also achieving longer ranges. The availability of weapons of mass destruction for use on ballistic missiles vastly increases the significance of this threat," the report states.


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