Saturday, March 13, 2010

China and Iran's Nasr 1 SSM.

Tehran’s Missile Ties
Mar 12, 2010

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2010/03/15/AW_03_15_2010_p30-211048.xml&headline=Tehran%E2%80%99s%20Missile%20Ties

By Douglas Barrie
London

Iran is continuing to build its tactical missile capability on the basis of Chinese technology with the claimed entry into series production of the Nasr 1 anti-ship missile. The Nasr family may also include air-launched derivatives.

Iranian media reported earlier this month that the missile was entering production, suggesting that test firings of the Nasr 1 had been carried out at the end of 2008. According to the local press reports, the Nasr 1 is initially intended for installation on small ships—including fast-attack craft—and for coastal defense. Iranian military officials are quoted as saying the Nasr is also intended for helicopter-launch.

The Nasr 1 anti-ship missile appears to be identical to the Chinese C-704, ­anti-ship weapon first shown at the 2006 Zhuhai air show. Mock-ups of several variants of the C-704 were displayed at the same venue in 2008. China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corp. (Cpmiec) posted basic performance parameters for the weapon along with imagery of a “production batch” of the missile.

Tehran has long-standing links to Beijing with regard to tactical missile systems. It first acquired Chinese anti-ship weapons in the late 1980s. China, however, remains publicly reticent to discuss in any detail the nature of its tactical guided-missile work with Iran. And, Chinese defense industry executives have been unwilling to discuss whether their anti-ship missile developments were intended for Iran.

Another Cpmiec-promoted anti-ship missile—the C-701—is already in service with the Iranian military. Versions of this small anti-ship missile are part of the Iranian Kosar series of weapons.

Yet to be determined is whether the C-704 was developed initially to meet a Chinese requirement—or if the program was from the outset intended for Iran. There is no indication—as yet, at least—that the C-704 has entered service with the Chinese military.

The extent to which Iran is actually producing the Nasr 1 is also a point of conjecture. Previous projects, such as the Kosar family covering the C-701 and the Hongdu JJ/TL-10 (JJ/TL-1) seem to have been at first kit-built from major sub-assemblies. The major sub-systems would have been manufactured in China and then shipped to Iran for final assembly.

Based on the Iranian imagery, the Nasr 1 is almost certainly the active radar-guided variant of the C-704. Brochure material lists the radar terminal acquisition performance as about 15 km. (9.3 mi.) with the missile’s maximum engagement range in the order of 35 km.

Two further versions of C-704 were displayed at Zhuhai—both designated C-704KD. The KD-designation may indicate an air-to-surface application. Infrared and TV-guidance seeker options both bore the C-704KD designation.

A family of medium-range electro-optically and infrared-guided air-to-surface missiles would provide a useful addition to the air force and navy’s air-launched weapons inventory. Cpmiec officials suggested in late 2008 that development of the C-704KD was already at a stage where the system could be exported.

The Nasr 1 designation indicates there may be further members of the Nasr family. The Nasr 2 name has also recently been used in local press reports associated with an anti-ship missile, and this could be another member of the weapon family. Footage of the Nasr production line also showed an electro-optical seeker assembly on a test stand.

The Nasr nomenclature has previously been associated with the Hongdu JJ/TL-6 (JJ/TL-2) missile, which is similar to the C-704, though its claimed range is 20-27 km. rather than 35, and its mid-body wingspan is narrower.

The TL-10 also corresponds to a member of the Kosar family as well as the C-701, and one possibility is that the TL-6 could also be part of the overall Nasr family. Development of the Hongdu weapons began in the latter half of the 1990s.

The intended customer for a further Cpmiec anti-ship missile revealed in 2008 has not been made public. The C-705 is a small turbojet-powered cruise missile, intended as an anti-ship weapon. Whether this weapon is also on offer to Tehran is not known.



Photo Credit: Mattin














3 comments:

Scotty09 said...

Last pic is not the Nasr-1!...It's Iran's new Jamaran class frigate firing a C-802/Noor missile...

Coatepeque said...

Thanks, corrected.

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