Still, I believe
that the Arab nation has a right to ask:
thirty nine missiles? Who will fire the Fortieth?
Evolution of Iraqs Delivery Systems
Resolving the Retained Scud-Variant Missile Question
Liquid-Propellant Missile Developments
Solid-Propellant Missile Developments
Al Fath Missile Program
Al Ubur Missile Program
Clustering SA-2/Volga Engines Designs
SA-2 Conversions to Surface-to-Surface Missiles
Large-Diameter Solid-Propellant Missile Project
New Cruise Missile Projects
The Jinin [Jenin] Project
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Remotely Piloted
L-29 RPV (Al Bayah)
Huwayshs Accounting of the L-29 RPV Program
Al Yamamah Project
Al Quds UAV Program
Procurement Supporting Iraqs Delivery Systems
Infrastructure Improvements and Technology Developments
Static Test-Firing Facilities
Solid-Propellant Rocket Motor Case Manufacture
Solid-Propellant Motor Casting Chambers
Production of Solid-Propellant Ingredients
Carbon Fiber Filament Winding
Ceramic Warhead Effort?
Violations of United Nations Sanctions and Resolutions
Role of the MTCR
A. Resolving the Retained Scud-Variant Missile
B. Liquid-Propellant Missile Developments
C. Solid-Propellant Missile Developments
Since the early 1970s, Iraq has consistently sought to acquire
an effective long-range weapons delivery capability, and by 1991 Baghdad
had purchased the missiles and infrastructure that would form the basis
for nearly all of its future missile system developments. The
Soviet Union was a key supplier of missile hardware and provided 819 Scud-B
missiles and ground support equipment.
Iraq’s experiences with long-range delivery systems in the Iran/Iraq
war were a vital lesson to Iraqi President Saddam Husayn. The
successful Iraqi response to the Iranian long-range bombardment of Baghdad,
leading to the War of the Cities, probably saved Saddam.
By 1991, Iraq had successfully demonstrated its ability to modify
some of its delivery systems to increase their range and to develop WMD
dissemination options, with the Al Husayn being a first step in this direction.
The next few years of learning and experiments confirmed that
the Regime’s goal was for an effective long-range WMD delivery capability
and demonstrated the resourcefulness of Iraq’s scientists and technicians.
Iraq failed in its efforts to acquire longer-range delivery systems
to replace inventory exhausted in the Iran/Iraq war. This was
a forcing function that drove Iraq to develop indigenous delivery system
Desert Storm and subsequent UN resolutions and inspections brought
many of Iraq’s delivery system programs to a halt. While much of Iraq’s
long-range missile inventory and production infrastructure was eliminated,
Iraq until late 1991 kept some items hidden to assist future reconstitution
of the force. This decision and Iraq’s intransigence during years
of inspection left many UN questions unresolved.
- Coalition airstrikes effectively targeted much of Iraq’s delivery
systems infrastructure, and UN inspections dramatically impeded further
developments of long-range ballistic missiles.
- It appears to have taken time, but Iraq eventually realized
that sanctions were not going to end quickly. This forced Iraq
tosacrifice its long-range delivery force in an attempt to bring about
a quick end to the sanctions.
- After the flight of Husayn Kamil in 1995, Iraq admitted that it had
hidden Scud-variant missiles and components to aid future reconstitution
but asserted that these items had been unilaterally destroyed by late
1991. The UN could not verify these claims and thereafter became more
wary of Iraq’s admissions and instituted a Regime of more intrusive
- The Iraq Survey Group (ISG) has uncovered no evidence Iraq retained
Scud-variant missiles, and debriefings of Iraqi officials in addition
to some documentation suggest that Iraq did not retain such missiles
While other WMD programs were strictly prohibited, the UN permitted Iraq
to develop and possess delivery systems provided their range did not exceed
150 km.This freedom allowed Iraq to keep its scientists and technicians
employed and to keep its infrastructure and manufacturing base largely
intact by pursuing programs nominally in compliance with the UN limitations.
This positioned Iraq for a potential breakout capability.
- Between 1991 and 1998, Iraq had declared development programs underway
for liquid- and solid-propellant ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial
Iraq’s decisions in 1996 to accept the Oil-For-Food program (OFF)
and later in 1998 to cease cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA spurred a
period of increased activity in delivery systems development. The
pace of ongoing missile programs accelerated, and the Regime authorized
its scientists to design missiles with ranges in excess of 150 km that,
if developed, would have been clear violations of UNSCR 687.
- By 2002, Iraq had provided the liquid-propellant Al Samud II—a program
started in 2001—and the solid-propellant Al Fat’h to the military and
was pursuing a series of new small UAV systems.
- ISG uncovered Iraqi plans or designs for three long-range ballistic
missiles with ranges from 400 to 1,000 km and for a 1,000-km-range cruise
missile, although none of these systems progressed to production and
only one reportedly passed the design phase. ISG assesses that these
plans demonstrate Saddam’s continuing desire—up to the beginning of
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)—for a long-range delivery capability.
Procurements supporting delivery system programs expanded after
the 1998 departure of the UN inspectors. Iraq also hired outside expertise
to assist its development programs.
- ISG uncovered evidence that technicians and engineers from Russia
reviewed the designs and assisted development of the Al Samud II during
its rapid evolution. ISG also found that Iraq had entered into negotiations
with North Korean and Russian entities for more capable missile systems.
- According to contract information exploited by ISG, Iraq imported
at least 380 SA-2/Volga liquid-propellant engines from Poland and possibly
Russia or Belarus. While Iraq claims these engines were for the Al Samud
II program, the numbers involved appear in excess of immediate requirements,
suggesting they could have supported the longer range missiles using
clusters of SA-2 engines. Iraq also imported missile guidance and control
systems from entities in countries like Belarus, Russia and Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). (Note: FRY is currently known as Serbia
and Montenegro but is referred to as FRY in this section.)
In late 2002 Iraq was under increasing pressure from the international
community to allow UN inspectors to return. Iraq in November accepted
UNSCR 1441 and invited inspectors back into the country. In December Iraq
presented to the UN its Currently Accurate, Full, and Complete Declaration
(CAFCD) in response to UNSCR 1441.
- While the CAFCD was judged to be incomplete and a rehash of old information,
it did provide details on the Al Samud II, Al Fat’h, new missile-related
facilities, and new small UAV designs.
- In February 2003 the UN convened an expert panel to discuss the Al
Samud II and Al Fat’h programs, which resulted in the UN’s decision
to prohibit the Al Samud II and order its destruction. Missile destruction
began in early March but was incomplete when the inspectors were withdrawn
later that month.
The CAFCD and United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection
Commission (UNMOVIC) inspections provided a brief glimpse into what Iraq
had accomplished in four years without an international presence on the
Given Iraq’s investments in technology and infrastructure improvements,
an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already
on the books for longer range missiles, ISG assesses that Saddam clearly
intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems
potentially were for WMD.
- Iraq built a new and larger liquid-rocket engine test stand capable,
with some modification, of supporting engines or engine clusters larger
than the single SA-2 engine used in the Al Samud II.
- Iraq built or refurbished solid-propellant facilities and equipment,
including a large propellant mixer, an aging oven, and a casting pit
that could support large diameter motors.
- Iraq’s investing in studies into new propellants and manufacturing
technologies demonstrated its desire for more capable or effective delivery
Evolution of Iraq’s Delivery Systems
Throughout its recent history, Iraq has consistently sought to
maintain an effective long-range weapons delivery capability, beginning
with its acquisition of Scud missiles in the 1970s and 80s and subsequent
modifications to increase their range. After expelling the UN inspectors
in 1998, the Regime authorized the development of longer-range delivery
systems, demonstrating its commitment to acquiring these potential WMD
- After Desert Storm, the international community learned that Iraq
had developed CW and BW warheads for Al Husayn missiles, was pursuing
a nuclear weapon for delivery by ballistic missile, and had pursued
development of a UAV for CW/BW delivery. WMD delivery was a central
role for Iraq’s missile and UAV systems.
- During the UNSCOM inspection years (1991-1998), Iraq embarked on a
number of delivery system programs that helped retain the expertise
and infrastructure needed to reconstitute a long-range strike capability,
although ISG has no indication that was the intent.
- After OIF, ISG found evidence for several new long-range delivery
system designs, but has not found evidence for new WMD payloads for
these, or any, delivery systems.
The Regime Strategy and WMD Timeline
For an overview of Iraqi WMD programs and policy choices, readers should
consult the Regime Strategy and WMD Timeline chart, enclosed as a separate
foldout and in tabular at the back of Volume I. Covering the period from
1980-2003, the timeline shows specific events bearing on the Regime’s
efforts in the BW, CW, delivery systems and nuclear realms and their chronological
relationship with political and military developments that had direct
bearing on the Regime’s policy choices. (These events are also provided
in tabular form in the Annex section).
Readers should also be aware that, at the conclusion of each chapter,
ISG has included foldout summary charts that relate inflection points—
critical turning points in the Regime’s WMD policymaking—to particular
events, initiatives, or decisions the Regime took with respect to specific
WMD programs. Inflection points are marked in the margins of the text
with a red triangle.
In the early 1970s, Iraq embarked on a determined path to acquire
a robust delivery system capability, and by 1991 Iraq had purchased the
missiles and infrastructure that would form the basis for nearly all of
its future missile system developments. The
Soviet Union was a key supplier of missile systems in Iraq’s bid to establish
a liquid-propellant ballistic missile force. Other countries played significant
roles in the establishment of related infrastructure. The Iran-Iraq War
was a key spur to these missile system developments. In particular, Iraq
needed to achieve longer range missiles. Iran could strike Iraqi cities
with Scuds, but Iraq could not strike Tehran with similar-range systems.
- After signing contracts with the Soviet Union in 1972, Iraq between
1974 and 1988 received 819 Scud-B missiles; 11 MAZ-543 transporter-erector-launchers;
and other ground support equipment, propellants, and warheads.
- In 1980 Iraq and
Yugoslavia agreed to develop and produce a small battlefield artillery
rocket called the Ababil-50 in Iraq and the Orkan M-87 in Yugoslavia.
The Ababil-50 inspired an interest in solid-propellant missiles.
- In 1984, Iraq, Egypt, and Argentina signed an agreement (amended in
1985 and 1987) to produce the BADR-2000—a solid-propellant boosted two-stage
ballistic missile with range capabilities up to 750 km. By 1989 deliveries
fell so far behind schedule that the agreement, was canceled. However,
before Iraq terminated the agreement it received missile designs, two
large solid-propellant mixers, and other infrastructure.
1987, unable to attack Tehran directly during the Iran-Iraq war
using standard Scud-B missiles, Iraq performed a simple modification
to produce the Al Husayn with a 650-km range and reduced payload mass.
At first, producing one Al Husayn missile required three Scud airframes,
but this rapidly evolved to a one-for-one ratio allowing recovery of
previously consumed missiles.
In 1987, Iraq successfully demonstrated its ability to both modify
some of its delivery systems to increase their range and to develop crude
WMD dissemination options by 1990, with the Al Husayn being a first step
in this direction.
- After successfully undertaking the Al Husayn modification project,
Iraq initiated another Scud modification project known as Al ‘Abbas
to increase the range to 950 km. The Al ‘Abbas reached a range of about
850 km during a flight test in 1988, but the program experienced numerous
problems and was not flown after 1990.
- In 1989, Iraq began researching the Al ‘Abid 3-stage space launch
vehicle (SLV), consisting of five Scud-type missiles strapped together
to form the first stage (a concept using a solid rocket fourth stage
never moved beyond the design phase). The Al ‘Abid was tested on 5 December
1989 and successfully lifted off the launch pad; however, an inter-stage
collapse caused the SLV to fail and there were no further flight tests.
The Al ‘Abid program continued until late 1990.
invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and, in the ensuing Desert Storm,
used Al Husayn and Al Hijarah missiles against targets in Israel and
- In 1990, Iraq successfully designed and tested crude “special” CW
or BW agent-filled warheads for the Al Husayn missile. Serial production
occurred between August and September 1990 producing a stockpile of
- Also in this time frame, Iraq initiated two projects—known as Fahad-300
and Fahad-500—to convert an SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM) into a
surface-to-surface missile (SSM) with design ranges of 300 km and 500
km, respectively. The Fahad- program was canceled in July 1989 but other
similar projects such as Al Rohma (Javelin) SAM continued. Iraq was
actually flight-testing one such undeclared program, the G-1, while
UNSCOM was undertaking inspections in 1993. ISG discovered other SA-2
conversion projects from the late 1990s up to OIF that probably trace
their origins to the Fahad programs.
- By January 1991, Iraq had converted a MiG-21 into a remotely piloted
vehicle (RPV) and had tested BW simulant dissemination from modified
Mirage F-1 drop tanks. The MiG-21 conversion program was canceled in
1991, but these initial steps most likely laid the groundwork for future
Desert Storm and subsequent UN
resolutions and inspections brought many of Iraq’s delivery system programs
to a halt. While much of Iraq’s missile inventory and production infrastructure
was eliminated, Iraq kept some Scud variant missiles hidden to assist
future reconstitution of the force until the end of 1991. This
decision, coupled with the unilateral destruction of WMD, and Iraq’s intransigence
during the inspection years left many questions unresolved for the UN.
Baghdad’s prime objective was to rid Iraq of sanctions, which would
enable Iraq to develop its delivery system programs at a quicker pace
and to make their systems more accurate. Iraq’s
fear of Iran’s growing military strength and Baghdad’s concern that inspections
would expose its weaknesses to Iran led Baghdad to obfuscate the inspection
- United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687 prohibited
Iraq from developing or possessing any ballistic missiles with a range
in excess of 150 km—a restriction reinforced by subsequent resolutions—and
established an organization called the United Nations Special Commission
(UNSCOM) with the mandate to police these restrictions. In the summer
of 1991, UNSCOM oversaw the destruction of 48 Al Husayn missiles, 50
warheads, 6 MAZ-543 launchers and 2 Al Nida’ launchers.
the flight of Husayn Kamil, Saddam’s son-in-law and head
of the weapons programs of the Military Industrialization Commission
(MIC), Iraq in 1995 admitted that it had intentionally concealed two
Scud-type missiles and associated equipment from the UN until late 1991
to prevent their destruction so that they could be used in the future
to reconstitute the force. The Iraqi government declared it unilaterally
destroyed these items, but the UN could not completely verify those
claims and became much more wary of Iraq’s admissions and instituted
a regime of more intrusive inspections.
- Husayn Kamil was the key to the delivery system development process
being closely involved in the appointments of key personnel and even
run-of-the-mill design reviews. His flight from Iraq effectively ended
all work on long-range missiles until 1998.
- Documentary evidence reveals that Iraq received all of its Scud missiles
deliveries from the Soviet Union. The documents also account for the
disposition of Iraq’s Scud force. This information, apparently
never provided to the UN, suggests Iraq did not have Scud-variant missiles
after 1991, resolving a key question for the international community.
- In the area of solid-propellants, UNSCOM supervised the “destruction”
of two remaining 300-gallon mixer bowls and a solid-propellant mixer
meant for the BADR-2000 program. UNSCOM also supervised the “destruction”
of other equipment associated with the BADR-2000 first stage motor production
and declared the BADR-2000 motor case aging oven “destroyed.”In effect,
this equipment was merely disabled and much of it would resurface in
the program later once Iraq was no longer under a monitoring and verification
UNSCR 687 prohibited chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons
programs but permitted the development and possession of ballistic missiles
with up to a 150 km range. Iraq kept its scientists and technicians employed
and its missile infrastructure and manufacturing base largely intact by
pursuing programs nominally in compliance with the UN limitations. This
positioned Iraq with a breakout capability. During the mid-to-late
1990s, Iraq expanded and modernized its missile-production infrastructure
and had development programs for liquid- and solid-propellant ballistic
missiles and UAVs.
at a time of diminishing resources and as the economy moved to its late
1995 low point, Iraq supported its missile programs as a matter of priority.
This priority ensured that support was sustained up to OIF.
- Iraq’s initial foray into liquid-propellant ballistic missiles after
Desert Storm started with the Ababil-100 program (later replaced by
the Al Samud) in 1993. This missile program relied on SA-2 technology
and Iraq’s familiarity with Scud manufacturing and was monitored closely
by the UN. Research and development continued until 2001 when the program
was terminated and replaced by the Al Samud II.
- Research for a solid-propellant ballistic missile under the Ababil-100
program (later renamed Al Fat’h) began before Desert Storm. This program
was based in part on the Ababil-50, with an initial goal of achieving
a range of 100 km. Research and development on this program continued
- In 1995, after the MiG-21 conversion failure in 1991, the Iraqis resumed
efforts to convert a manned aircraft into a RPV, this time with L-29
trainer aircraft. Research continued intermittently until 2001 when
the program was terminated. ‘Abd-al-Tawab ‘Abdallah Al Mullah Huwaysh,
the former Minister of Military Industrialization, stated that the L-29
had the same mission as the MiG-21. ISG judges that the purpose
of the MiG-21 RPV program was to deliver CW/BW.
decisions in 1996 to accept OFF and later in 1998 to cease cooperation
with UNSCOM and IAEA spurred a period of increased activity in delivery
systems development. The pace of ongoing missile programs accelerated,
and the Saddam Regime authorized the design of long-range missiles that
were clear violations of UNSCR 687.
Iraq’s ballistic missile programs experienced rapid advancement
compared to the previous five years of stunted development and concerned
new ideas for longer range missiles, some based on old concepts. Given
the ever-decreasing effectiveness of sanctions, Iraq was able to consider
bolder steps in areas where it still had technical difficulties. If the
sanctions regime remained strictly enforced, there would have been little
or no effort by Iraq to address these shortfalls.
- ISG discovered that Iraq in 1997 restarted efforts to convert SA-2
SAMs into ballistic missiles, which contravened an UNSCOM letter restricting
this kind of work. This project was canceled in 1998 but probably restarted
in 2000 with the Sa’d project to create a 250-km-range missile. Research
for the Sa’d project continued up to the time UN inspectors returned
- According to a former engineer within the Iraqi missile program, in
1997 or 1998 during a monthly Ballistic Missile Committee meeting, Huwaysh
openly stated he wanted a missile with a range of 1,000 km.
- According to Kamal Mustafa ‘Abdallah Sultan Al Nasiri, a former Secretary
General of the Republican Guard (SRG), in the summer of 1999, Huwaysh,
in a speech to SRG and Republican Guard members, promised that the range
of an unspecified missile system would be extended to 500 km, though
this would take five years to accomplish.
- Iraq began flight-testing the Al Fat’h in 2000 and continued through
2002, but Iraq was not able to acquire or develop a suitable guidance
system. Iraq began deploying unguided Al Fat’h missiles to the army
in late 2001.
- In 1999-2000 the Iraqis began developing the Al ‘Ubur SAM system,
which would use a modified, longer Al Fat’h rocket motor. Iraq considered,
but did not pursue, using the Al ‘Ubur motor in a single-stage ballistic
missile that could have exceeded 200 km in range.
- After 2000-2001, Iraq began an effort to extend the shelf life of
FROG-7 (LUNA) and Ababil-50 rockets by replacing their aging double-base
solid rocket motors with composite solid-propellant, which also improved
the performance of these rockets. Renamed Al Ra’d and Al Nida’, respectively,
these efforts helped advance the composite solid-propellant manufacturing
infrastructure in Iraq.
- Around 2000, Saddam ordered the development of longer range
missiles. In response, Huwaysh asked his missile scientists to see what
was feasible. Drawings dated August 2000 show two missiles using
a cluster of either two or five SA-2 engines. These designs could have
resulted in missiles with maximum ranges of about 500 and 1,000 km,
but the designs did not move forward because the program lacked written
authorization from Saddam.
- Following Huwaysh’s orders, Iraq pursued efforts to develop
a long-range (400-1,000 km) solid-propellant ballistic missile.
Source accounts give various dates for this event, but it was most likely
spring 2000. Initial concepts included using a cluster of Al Fat’h motors
or developing a larger diameter motor. Iraq also pursued a motor with
a diameter of 0.8 or one meter for use in a single-stage missile. Iraq
attempted to use a barrel section from the pre-1991 Supergun project
to create a prototype one-meter-diameter solid rocket motor, but the
effort failed because of material incompatibilities when Iraqi technicians
tried to weld the Supergun section to the motor end-dome.
- In 2001 the Al Samud II replaced the Al Samud program because of instability
problems. Flight tests began in August 2001, and the Al Samud II was
deployed to the Army in December 2001.
Iraq after 1998 continued with its HY-2 modification efforts with
the HY-2 range extension project and started a completely new effort to
increase the range of the HY-2 cruise missile to 1,000 km.
- The first effort was a straightforward project that replaced the existing
rocket propulsion system with one that used a higher energy fuel. This
change allowed an increase in range to greater than 150 km. According
to one Iraqi scientist, the first successful flight test of the extended-range
HY-2 occurred in August 1999. Huwaysh commented that a extended-range
HY-2 may have been fired during OIF, targeting Kuwait.
- The second effort began in late 2001 when the Office of the President
suggested to MIC that it develop a 1,000-km-range cruise missile. This
project, later named Jinin, would attempt to replace the HY-2’s liquid-propellant
rocket engine with a modified helicopter turboshaft engine to extend
its range to 1,000 km. Work began in 2002, and Iraq had conducted some
engine-related tests by the time UN inspectors returned. At that time,
one official working on the project judged it was three to five years
Concurrent with the failures of the L-29 RPV program, Iraq began
in 2000 to pursue new, long-range UAV options.
- Iraq remained interested in UAVs, and the MIC ordered the development
of indigenous reconnaissance UAVs and target drones. Iraq’s Ibn-Firnas
group after 1998 developed the Al Musayara-20 UAV as a battlefield reconnaissance
- Iraq began a second, more secret, indigenous UAV development program
in early 2000, called Al Quds, which would focus on meeting military
requirements for airborne electronic warfare programs. However the Al
Quds UAVs were still in development at the start of OIF.
system-related procurement expanded in late 1998 after the departure of
the UN inspectors. Iraq also
hired outside expertise to assist its development programs. Money
was pouring into Iraq’s delivery system programs, and Iraqi front companies
took advantage of the freedom to operate without UN oversight.
- Iraq hired technicians and engineers from Russian companies to review
the designs and assist development of the Al Samud II, perhaps contributing
to its rapid evolution.
- Iraq entered into negotiations with North Korean and Russian entities
for more capable missile systems. Iraq and North Korea in 2000 discussed
a 1,300-km-range missile, probably the No Dong, and in 2002 Iraq approached
Russian entities about acquiring the Iskander-E short-range ballistic
- According to contract information, Iraq imported at least 380 SA-2/Volga
liquid-propellant engines from Poland and possibly Russia or Belarus.
Iraq claims these engines were for the Al Samud II program, but the
numbers involved appear far in excess of immediate requirements, suggesting
they could have supported the longer range missiles using clusters of
SA-2 engines. Iraq also imported missile guidance and control systems
from entities in Belarus, Russia and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
next move of the Regime commenced
with Saddam’s ill-conceived reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11,
allowing him to be aligned with the “Axis of Evil.” In late 2002, Iraq
was under increasing pressure from the international community to allow
UN inspectors to return. Iraq in November accepted UNSCR 1441
and invited UN inspectors back into the country. That December, Iraq presented
to the UN its Currently Accurate, Full, and Complete Declaration (CAFCD).
The CAFCD was largely a repeat of old information, but it did provide
details on the Al Samud II, Al Fat’h, and new missile-related facilities.
- After Iraq disclosed in its CAFCD that, on at least 13 occasions,
its Al Samud II missile had reached ranges beyond 150 km, the UN put
a stop to Al Samud II flight-testing until they could further assess
the system’s capabilities. UNMOVIC convened a panel of missile experts
in February 2003, which concluded that the Al Samud II violated UN statutes,
and, therefore, the program should be frozen and the missiles destroyed.
Beginning in March, UNMOVIC supervised the destruction of 72 missiles
and the disablement of 3 launchers. The missile destruction program
was incomplete when the inspectors left in mid-March, leaving Iraq with
Al Samud II missiles that could be used against Coalition forces. Iraq
launched approximately five Al Samud II missiles against Coalition forces
during OIF before the system was recalled due to failures.
- The Al Karamah State Establishment, later known as Al Karamah General
Company, detailed design work for long-range missiles using SA-2 engine
clusters through 2002. Huwaysh claimed that he ordered one copy of these
designs be given to him and that all other evidence of the program destroyed
to avoid detection by UNMOVIC inspectors.
- The Sa’d SA-2 conversion project, researched by Al Kindi State Establishment,
was abandoned prior to the arrival of UN inspectors. ISG learned,
however, that another group embarked on a crash program to convert SA-2s
to SSMs after UNMOVIC inspectors departed. Two SA-2s were converted
but never fired.
- Iraq declared that its Al Fat’h missile had exceeded 150 km during
flight tests to the UN. As with the Al Samud II missile, the UN ordered
that Iraq cease all flight tests of the system until they could further
evaluate the system’s capabilities. By the start of OIF, a guided version
of the Al Fat’h was within weeks of flight-testing. Even without a guidance
system, the Al Fat’h proved itself to be a viable weapon system, and
the Iraqi Army fired between 12 and 16 missiles during OIF.
- Iraq’s small UAV programs had demonstrated some success, including
an autonomous 500-km flight, and given time most likely would have produced
larger UAVs with greater payload capabilities. The evidence uncovered
by ISG suggests that the UAV programs active at the onset of OIF were
intended for reconnaissance or electronic warfare.
The CAFCD and UNMOVIC inspections provided a brief glimpse into
what Iraq had accomplished in four years without an international presence
on the ground. Given Iraq’s investments in technology and infrastructure
improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and
designs already on the books for longer range missiles,
ISG assesses that, absent UN oversight, Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute
long-range delivery systems, potentially for WMD.
- Iraq constructed a new liquid-rocket engine test stand that was larger
and more capable than the existing engine test stand. The new stand,
with modifications, would have been able to support tests of more powerful
engines or clusters of engines. Although ISG found no evidence that
tests of more powerful engines had occurred, Iraq had clearly begun
to establish the infrastructure to support such tests in the future.
- Iraq undertook efforts to improve its composite solid-propellant infrastructure.
Iraq repaired one of the two 300-gallon mixers and two bowls from the
BADR-2000 program and tried to repair the second mixer, although reports
vary as to the success. According to two former Iraqi officials, the
mixer was used for a short time in 2002 and then dismantled before UN
inspectors returned. In addition, Iraq built an annealing chamber capable
of handling rocket motor cases with diameters greater than one meter.
Other infrastructure improvements included new, larger diameter casting
chambers and a significant increase in propellant component production
- Iraq studied new propellants and manufacturing technologies demonstrating
its desire for more capable or effective delivery systems. For example,
a liquid-propellant rocket engine test on 18 March 2001 used AZ-11 fuel
instead of the usual TG-02, in an effort to enhance the engine’s performance.
ISG learned that a Liquid Fuels Committee was established in August
2000 to research the performance capabilities for various propellants
and techniques for producing candidate propellants or precursors, some
advanced up to pilot scale.
Resolving the Retained Scud-Variant Missile Question
ISG acquired information suggesting that after 1991 Iraq did not
possess Scud or Scud-variant missiles. Interviews with several former
high-level Iraqi officials, visits to locations where missiles were reportedly
hidden, and documents reportedly never disclosed to the UN, all appear
to confirm that Iraq expended or destroyed all of the 819 Scud missiles
it acquired from the Soviet Union.
- A recently exploited document contains information on all of the 819
Scud missiles imported from the Soviet Union with a break down by serial
number of their disposition. This document—reportedly never shared with
the UN, although the contents had been discussed with UN officials—provides
an Iraqi analysis for the discrepancies in the accounting for its Scud
missiles to the UN. A partial translation of the document can be found
in the Delivery Systems Annex.
- Husam Muhammad Amin Al Yasin, the former director of the National
Monitoring Directorate (NMD), admitted to knowing about the retention
of two missiles for reverse-engineering but said the missiles were destroyed
- According to Hazim ‘Abd-al-Razzaq Ayyubi Al Shihab, the former commander
of the Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) Forces, the only retained Scud-variant
missiles were destroyed in 1991. Two missiles that were to be used for
reverse engineering were unilaterally destroyed by December 1991. Hazim
claimed that no other Scud missiles or equipment were retained.
A few former high-level Regime officials have provided conflicting
information regarding the retention of Scud-variant missiles. Further
questioning has not resolved these conflicts. Additionally, ISG has investigated
several reports from sources of unknown credibility concerning the locations
of Scud missiles, but we have not found evidence at those locations to
support these claims.
- ‘Abd-al-Tawab ‘Abdallah Al Mullah Huwaysh, the head of MIC and Deputy
Prime Minister, stated that he had been convinced that Iraq had retained
two to four Scud-variant missiles as a result of a 2002 conversation
with Qusay Saddam Husayn. Huwaysh described Qusay’s irritation with
‘Amir Muhammad Rashid Al ‘Ubaydi, the former Minister of Oil then charged
with resolving the Scud material balance, who had pestered Qusay over
the difference in Scud materiel balance between UNMOVIC and Iraq. Huwaysh
then commented that he knew nothing about the location of the missiles
or their status and that his opinion was based on Qusay’s reaction.
However, Huwaysh speculated that a highly restricted area near the so-called
“Khanaqin triangle” would have been an ideal location to hide these
missiles, since the Special Republican Guard (SRG) controlled the area.
Huwaysh was unable to provide any confirmatory evidence to his claim.
ISG believes that the balance of credible reporting and documentary
evidence suggests that, after 1991, Iraq no longer possessed Scud-variant
missiles. Though some former high-level officials offer speculation and
suspicions that Iraq has retained Scud-variantmissiles, exhaustive investigation
by ISG has not yielded evidence supporting these claims.
Liquid-Propellant Missile Developments
Iraq demonstrated its ability to quickly develop and deploy liquid-propellant
ballistic missiles, such as the Al Samud II, against UN guidelines. ISG
believes that, given the order to proceed, Iraq had the capability, motivation
and resources to rapidly move ahead with newer longer range ballistic
Iraq began its indigenous liquid-propellant ballistic missile efforts
in the early 1990s with the Ababil-100—later known as the Al Samud. These
efforts lead to the more successful Al Samud II program, officially beginning
in 2001. Through a series of debriefings of high-level officials from
Iraq’s missile programs, together with document exploitation, ISG has
been able to build a better understanding of the Al Samud II program.
Although the infrastructure and technical expertise were available,
there is no evidence suggesting Iraq intended to design CBW warheads for
either the Al Samud or the Al Samud II system.
Early Liquid-Propellant Missile Efforts
As early as 1988, Iraq displayed ambitions to develop an indigenous,
liquid-propellant ballistic missile. These early developmental efforts
included the unsuccessful Fahad-300/500 and the G-1 projects. In 1992,
an indigenous SA-2 replication (the Al Rafadiyan project) also failed
but was tied with the Ababil-100 project. The Ababil project—initially
intended as a compliance measure addressing the UN sanctions of 1991;
limiting the range to 150 km and later renamed the Al Samud —began as
a 500-mm-diameter missile designed by Dr. Hamid Khalil Al ‘Azzawi and
Gen Ra’ad Isma’il Jamil Al Adhami at Ibn-al Haytham. The program experienced
various problems, especially with the missile’s stability. In 1993,
Dr. Muzhir [Modher] Sadiq Saba’ Khamis Al Tamimi, then Director of both
Al Karamah and Ibn-al Haytham, proposed a missile design, which was
deemed more stable due to its having an increased diameter of 750 mm.
After reviewing various designs of the Ababil project, UNSCOM restricted
missile programs to having a diameter of no more than 600 mm in 1994.
Husayn Kamil held a competitive design review between Dr. Muzhir’s new
600-mm-diameter design and Gen Ra’ad’s 500-mm design; Gen Ra’ad’s design
succeeded. After several years of limited success at MIC, Gen Ra’ad
was removed as the head of the program, and Dr. Muzhir was put in charge
of the Al Samud program in 1999. Muzhir experimented with the design
of the missile—increasing its reliability—but work on this program ceased
in 2000. All efforts were then refocused on the Al Samud II project.
See the Delivery Systems Annex for further information on Dr. Muzhir
and Gen Ra’ad.
On 17 March 1994, Rolf Ekeus, the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM,
submitted a letter to ‘Amir Muhammad Rashid Al ‘Ubaydi concerning designs
for the Ababil-100 liquid engine missile.
“. . . Iraq disclosed a new design for the Ababil-100 liquid engine
missile still under research and development. . . this new design provided
for a substantial increase of an airframe’s diameter, from 500 mm to
750 mm. Our analysis concluded that such a large diameter is not appropriate
or justified for missiles with ranges less than 150 km. . . the Commission
has to state that any increase of the diameter in the current design
of the Ababil-100 liquid engine missile exceeding 600 mm is not permitted.”
Al Samud II
Iraq researched and developed the Al Samud II missile despite UN
provisions, which prohibited such a system with its specification. Not
only did the missile have range capabilities beyond the 150-km UN limit,
but also Iraq procured prohibited items as well as received foreign technical
assistance to develop and produce this system. ISG, which has developed
a comprehensive history of the system, has no evidence indicating that
Iraq was designing CBW warheads for the missile.
Huwaysh’s official approval for the Al Samud II diameter increase
to 760 mm occurred in June 2001, despite the 1994 letter from UNSCOM Executive
Chairman Rolf Ekeus specifying that UNSCOM restricted the diameter of
Iraq’s Ababil-100 missile to less than 600 mm. According to officials
within Iraq’s missile program, the 760-mm-diameter design was chosen because
this gave the missile more stability than the unsuccessful smaller diameter
missile and this dimension also allowed Iraq to use HY-2 components for
- According to a former Iraqi missile program official, Huwaysh approved
the 760-mm-diameter design for the Al Samud II in June 2001. Engineers
within the program strongly believed that the 500-mm diameter Al Samud
was going to be unsuccessful from the very beginning. They had determined,
based on their experience and knowledge of Soviet ballistic missile
systems, the length/diameter (L/D) ratio of such missiles should be
between 8 and 14 but that 12.5 was the optimum. See Figure
1 for a diagram of the Al Samud II missile and Figure
2 for a photo of the Al Samud II missile.
- ISG believes that discussions of an “optimum” L/D are fallacious.
Iraqi insistence that the diameter increase was intended solely to
meet a specific L/D is more probably a ruse to increase the missile’s
internal volume—ostensibly for increasing the fuel capacity—thereby
further increasing the maximum range potential.
- Although the L/D of the 760-mm-diameter design may be an improvement
over that of the 500-mm-diameter designs, this is only one of many
inter-dependant parameters contributing to the missile’s stability.
- An Al Karamah official claimed that Dr. Muzhir, who had previously
developed a 750-mm design by 1993, discovered that the airframe and
ring assembly for the HY-2 cruise missile was based on a 760-mm diameter.
Because of time constraints, these items could easily be used to quickly
develop and manufacture his 760-mm-diameter missile. Figure
3 depicts an early Al Samud II using an HY-2 airframe.
- Huwaysh stated that the larger diameter design allowed an additional
fuel tank. ISG has not found evidence that Iraq intended to add
an additional fuel tank to the Al Samud II.
The capability of the Al Samud II missile quickly showed a marked
improvement over the unsuccessful Al Samud program. After several flight
tests, the first of which occurred in August 2001, Iraq began a production
ramp-up of the missile in September 2001. Several sources have
corroborated Iraq’s efforts to improve the accuracy of the system, using
components, expertise, and infrastructure from other missile programs
to accelerate fielding the Al Samud II. The key parameters for the Al
Samud II are listed in Table 1.
Key Parameters of Al Samud II
| Key Parameters
|| Fuel (TG-02) Oxidizer (AK20K)
|| Modified SA-2 Engine (Volga)
| Guidance and Control
|| C601 and C611 gyroscopes
|| Aluminum Alloy with Stainless Steel Rings
- A senior official within Iraq’s missile program stated that the Al
Samud II used gyroscopes taken from the guidance system of C601 and
C611 cruise missiles.
- Up to November 2002, a timer system was used by Al Karamah to provide
a simple determination of the time for engine cut-off, regardless of
the velocity achieved. After that date, the timer was replaced by an
integrating axial accelerometer in the analog control system, which
was designed to provide an accurate determination of the engine cut-off
velocity. This consisted of an AK-5 accelerometer integrated into the
control system, calculating the missile velocity using digital integration
of the axial acceleration. This modified control system would issue
the engine shut down command signal when the target velocity had been
reached. A range count, similar to that of the Scud and Al Husayn missiles,
could be entered from the launcher to preset the missile range using
- Al Karamah also began the design of a completely digital compensator
to be used in place of the analog compensator. The compensator is an
analog computer designed to calculate the corrections necessary to maintain
missile attitude and flightpath to the target. The digital compensator
is very similar to an onboard flight computer. It was to be ready for
use by June or July 2003.
The guidance system for the Al Samud II provides outputs to the
control system that provide corrective signals to the 4 graphite jet vanes,
redirecting the thrust vector of the modified SA-2 Volga engine.
This arrangement, similar to the Scud, provides control in 3 axes, but
only during the powered portion of flight. The missile reaches apogee
as the powered portion of flight ends (approximately 83 seconds in the
case of the Al Samud II). The missile is unguided after thrust termination
and in a free-fall ballistic flight until impact. This limitation, coupled
with the inaccuracies of the guidance and control system, resulted in
A senior source at Al Karamah informed ISG of a developmental effort
to improve the accuracy of the Al Samud II using aerodynamic controls
on the inboard sections of the aft stabilization fins. A high-pressure
gas bottle would be used to supply air pressure to drive pneumatic-controlled
actuators that provide aerodynamic control throughout both the missile’s
powered flight and through reentry. This improvement in control would
have been incorporated following the completion of the initial guidance
testing, most likely entering testing as early as the end of 2003.
- Around 1999, Iraq was working to import new, modern, complete guidance
packages from Russian and FRY entities.
- Iraq was intending to purchase Inertial Navigation Systems (INS),
fiber-optic systems, and high-precision machinery for indigenous production
of guidance and control components.
Iraq relied on foreign assistance to develop the Al Samud II program
from its early beginnings. ISG has uncovered Iraqi efforts to obtain technical
expertise and prohibited items from other countries.
- Russian experts contracted through ARMOS assisted with indigenous
production as well as the interface between imported guidance systems
and the Al Samud II missile.
- A high-level official admitted that Iraq received approximately 280
SA-2 engines through the Polish company Evax by the end of 2001, followed
by an additional 100 engines from Al Rawa’a.
- According to a former high-level civilian official, Iraq brought foreign
experts into the country to assist in its missile programs.
Although advancements in the Al Samud II program were achieved
quickly, shortage of necessary components limited production. Several
sources estimated the number of missiles produced and delivered to the
Army by OIF. Because these accounts vary and are not fully supported by
documentary evidence, ISG has compared these claims with earlier information
to develop a potential materiel balance for the missiles. See Delivery
Systems Annex for more details.
- According to a former high-level official, Iraq began serial production
of the Al Samud II missile beginning in December 2001. The production
goal was to yield 10 full missiles a month. ISG believes that,
because of a lack of certain components, Iraq did not always meet this
monthly quota, while in some months they may have surpassed it—the production
was dependent upon their success at importing components.
Iraq declared the Samud II system to the UN in its CAFCD in December
2002, disclosing the 760-mm-diameter along with an 83-second engine burn
time. Additionally, Iraq admitted in its semi-annual monitoring declarations
that the system had exceeded 150 km on at least 13 occasions during flight
tests. Because of this, UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans Blix, before the
UN Security Council in December 2002, ordered Iraq to freeze all flight
tests of the Al Samud II program until technical discussions could occur
to determine the capability of the missile.
- According to a former senior official at Al Karamah, Iraq produced
approximately 20 missiles during the first quarter of 2003.
- Another source claimed that, after UNMOVIC inspectors departed the
country in March 2003, Iraq was able to assemble about 4 Al Samud II
missiles from remaining parts that had been placed in mobile trucks
to avoid air strikes. These missiles were not delivered to the Army.
A missile requires a SAFF system to ensure that the warhead is safe to
handle and remains unarmed until it has been launched, and then detonates
when intended. After launch the SAFF system will activate the firing system
and arm the warhead. Detonation of the explosive warhead charge is initiated
by the fuze. Common fuzes used by Iraq include timer switches, accelerometers,
barometric devices and impact switches (impact switches are either inertia
[nose and tail fuzes] or crush [nose fuze only] and can be used as the
primary fuze or as a backup to ensure detonation if other fuzing systems
fail). For the Al Samud and Al Fat’h warheads, the impact or crush switch
was located in the nose tip and activated by the impact of the warhead
with the ground. The basic design of the high-explosive (HE) warhead was
common between the two missiles and could be interchanged if needed with
minimal modifications. The most likely composition of the explosive mixture
was 60% TNT, 30% RDX, and 10% aluminum powder.
The submunition warhead developed for the Al Fat’h missile had an airburst
fuze to ensure the effective dispersal of the submunitions (bomblets).
The warhead contained up to 900 KB-1 anti-tank/anti-personnel (ATAP) submunitions.
Al Samud II Determined To Be an Illegal System
During a UN technical discussion in February 2003, an International
Team of missile experts concluded that the Al Samud II missile had range
capabilities well beyond the imposed 150-km limit. The UN then ordered
Iraq to destroy the Al Samud II and associated support equipment specific
to the system. UNMOVIC supervised the destruction of 72 missiles and
3 launchers in March. Due to the inconsistencies in source reporting
and the lack of documentary evidence available, ISG has been unable
to accurately reconcile the status of the Al Samud II inventory.
Refer to the Delivery Systems Annex for an assessment of the Al Samud
II missile material balance.
Iraqi Ballistic Missile Warheads
Iraq developed a unitary high-explosive (HE) warhead for delivery
by both the Al Samud and Al Fat’h missiles. Iraq also developed a submunition
warhead for the Al Fat’h and intended to develop a cluster warhead for
the Al Samud.
Traditionally, the payload or warhead of a missile can be defined as
an explosive or weapons package, the shell in which the weapons package
is contained, and the Safe, Arm, Fuze and Fire (SAFF) system.
Al Samud Warhead
ISG has not discovered any information to suggest that Iraq had
considered or designed bulk-filled CBW warheads for the Al Samud.
An impact detonation would be an inefficient method for disseminating
chemical or biological agents, as the heat and shock of an explosive detonation
could destroy much, if not all, of the agents.
- Although ISG has recovered no evidence to suggest that “special” warheads
were developed for the Al Samuds, the warhead is a direct extrapolation
of the impact warhead design for the Scud and Al Husayn missiles and
could be modified in the same way Iraq modified the Al Husayn HE warhead
to produce crude CBW warheads.
- Iraq retained the intellectual capital for reproducing these kinds
of “special” warhead designs, so modification and production of this
crude type of warhead could be achieved in a matter of weeks with a
relatively small team of specialized individuals.
The Al Samud I was designed to carry a unitary HE warhead, and
Iraq apparently intended to develop a conventional submunition warhead
for the missile. The Al Samud HE warhead is an extrapolation of
the Scud warhead design and was later adopted for the Al Fat’h missile.
Development of the warhead took about eight months and was completed in
the summer of 1994. The Al Samud warhead components are listed in Table
The original Al Samud warhead has a 500-mm-base-diameter and is 2 meters
long with a design payload mass of 300 kg. The fuze mechanism is similar
to that of the Scud missile. The original warhead design contained one
forward booster and two rear boosters at the base of the warhead, one
of which serves to provide uniform detonation in the system, the other
as an auto destruct mechanism in case the missile deviates from its predetermined
trajectory. Because Iraq lacked confidence in the accuracy of the guidance
and control system, the backup and emergency boosters were never incorporated,
leaving a single forward booster. An impact crush switch is incorporated
into the graphite nose of the warhead (see Figure
4, Al Samud warhead design).
Iraq’s desire to achieve 150-km range resulted in a quick modification
to reduce the payload mass from 300 kg to 200-250 kg with 100-120 kg of
HE, according to a senior missile official.
- Iraq reduced the warhead mass by relocating the base plate and bulkhead
forward into the warhead body, which reduced the available HE volume.
- Warhead modifications continued into 2001. A flight test in late 2001
used better constructed cylindrical and conical parts of the warhead
with a payload of 240 kg and achieved a range of 151 km.
| Table 2
| Nose Tip
| Outer shell
|| 2-mm rolled steel
| Insulation layer
|| 3-mm Asbestos
| Inner Shell
|| 1-mm rolled steel
|| Impact or crush switch housed in nose tip
| Booster x 3
|| The third booster acts as a safety mechanism, detonating
if the missile deviates from its predetermined trajectory
|| 60% RDX, 30% TNT, 10% aluminum powder
After succeeding with the unitary HE warhead, Iraq intended to
develop a submunition warhead for the Al Samud, according to a senior
Iraqi missile developer. However, no submunition warheads for either Al
Samud or Al Samud II were manufactured.
Al Samud II Warhead
ISG has not discovered information to suggest that Iraq had considered
or designed CBW warheads for the Al Samud II. The Al Samud II
was designed to carry a unitary HE warhead, which is an extrapolation
of the Scud and Al Samud warhead designs. At the end of June 2001, Al
Karamah modified the Al Samud warhead to accommodate the increase in diameter
from 500 mm to 760 mm. A design payload of 300 kg for Al Samud was agreed
to with the UN, but the actual payload was 280 kg.
- Iraq manufactured a new warhead shell with a 760-mm-base-diameter
and a length of 2,142 mm. The HE was housed in the forward section of
the warhead and additional space reserved in the base for an air bottle
that would provide pneumatics to control surfaces yet to be implemented
in the missile fins (see Guidance and Control section). To compensate
for the additional weight of the warhead shell and guidance system,
the amount of HE was reduced.
- The booster for the emergency detonator was to be reinstalled, once
confidence was gained in the guidance system. Figure
5 shows a schematic diagram of the Al Samud II warhead with gyroscope
housings at the base of the warhead and notional emergency booster rod
illustrated with dotted lines.
Within two weeks, Al Karamah produced a prototype that was tested at
Al Qayyarah, a site belonging to the Air Force. The test successfully
demonstrated the fragmentation and blast radius, resulting in design approval
from the Army.
Between January and November 2002, Al Karamah and Al Qa’Qa’a conducted
a study to improve the effectiveness of the Al Samud warhead.
The study was to investigate two aspects of the warhead:
- Methods by which the density of the explosive material could be increased;
- How the blast effect of the warhead could be improved.
The theoretical filling requirements for the study of the Al Samud II
- Total weight: 280 kg
- Explosive charge weight: 140 kg
- Warhead metal container weight: 140 kg
- Composition of explosive mixture: 60% RDX= 84 kg, 30% TNT= 42 kg &
10% AL= 14 kg.
Filling of the Al Samud warhead was a manual process; however, the study
recommended that compressing the explosive material into the warhead by
using a hydraulic press would improve the density and thus effectiveness
and safe handling of the explosive material.
Solid-Propellant Missile Developments
The Iraqi composite solid-propellant missile program that developed
in the 1990s supported the development of a short-range ballistic missile
(SRBM) system allowed within the UN limitations and the refurbishment
of and improvement to existing weapon systems and attempted to support
the development of ballistic missile systems prohibited by the UN.
Al Fat’h Missile Program
Despite the limitations imposed by the UN sanctions and the international
arms embargo, Iraq was able to produce and field the domestically designed
Al Fat’h composite solid-propellant ballistic missile. The goal
of the program, which commenced in June 1997, was to develop a missile
that could deliver a 300-kg payload to a range of 150 km with an accuracy
of 150 meters Circular Error Probable (CEP). The accuracy requirement
for an unguided version of the Al Fat’h was 750 meters CEP.
- The Al Fat’h program began under the Ababil-100 project in the early
1990s. By 1994 the liquid- and solid-propellant missile development
programs under Ababil-100 had split, and the solid-propellant program
retained the Ababil-100 name. According to a senior Iraqu missile official,
the first technical review meeting was held for the commencement of
the Al Fat’h missile program in June 1997.
- The Al Fat’h was designed to carry unitary HE or submunition warheads.
ISG has not found evidence to suggest the Al Fat’h was intended
for use with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads.
By the time of OIF, Iraq had produced between 100 and 120 Al Fat’h
missiles, with up to 60 consumed in the development process. In
late 2002, the Army had few alternatives and accepted the unguided Al
Fat’h, with the understanding that the guided variant would continue to
be developed. Between 50 and 60 missiles were provided to the Army, all
of which were unguided; five were equipped with submunition warheads.
- During OIF, Iraq fired between 12 and 16 Al Fat’h missiles at Coalition
targets, and between 4 and 13 missiles were damaged or destroyed by
the Coalition. After the war the Coalition recovered at least 10 missiles,
which leaves up to 34 unaccounted for missiles.
Al Fat’h development allowed Iraq to create and refine the technical
expertise and develop the infrastructure needed to support the design
and production of missiles with ranges beyond those allowed by the UN.
The Al Fat’h design was conservative and used unnecessarily heavy airframe
components, yet the missile reached and in some cases exceeded the 150-km
limitation imposed by UNSCR 687 in flight tests and during operational
- Computer modeling of the Al Fat’h provided an estimated range capability
of 180 km. Using lighter airframe materials would improve the range.
Key elements of the Al Fat’h development process required foreign
assistance or procurement. ISG has discovered that the guidance
for the Al Fat’h was to consist of a “strap-down” inertial navigation
system (INS) with gyroscopes and accelerometers, which would fall well
beyond the production capabilities in Iraq. Also, key ingredients of the
composite solid-propellant could not be produced in Iraq.
The Al Fat’h missile (see Figure 6)
was a solid-propellant ballistic missile weighing approximately 1,200
kg with an overall length of approximately 6.7 meters and a diameter of
0.5 meter for the main body and 1.4 meters with the aft fin assembly.
While forward canards were used on a number of missile test flights, they
were not used on the Al Fat’hs provided to the Army, and none have been
noted on the Al Fat’hs captured to date.
- The airframe was primarily constructed from 4 mm thick 30CrMoV9 sheet
steel. While 30CrMoV9 proved difficult to form, the extensive use of
this alloy throughout the airframe simplifies missile construction.
Although not available, maraging steel would have been the preferred
material. The aft fin assemblies and nose cones were constructed of
The Al Fat’h was designed to be launched from a Transporter-Erector-Launcher
(TEL). Based upon the SA-2/Volga missile launcher, the Al Fat’h missile
was mounted in a launcher-storage box with an integral launcher rail.
The Al Fat’h used a composite solid-propellant motor of conventional
design and composition. According to a senior official in the Iraqi missile
program, the final motor mass was 828 kg, although the motors varied from
820 kg to 856 kg because of variations in motor insulation. Other documentation
retrieved by ISG give a propellant mass of approximately 770 kg. ISG believes
that the variations in propellant mass suggest that the final design for
the missile was not frozen. Manufacturing the Al Fat’h solid-propellant
motor presented several challenges. Specifically, Iraq lacked preferred
materials for the motor case and insufficient solid-propellant mixing
- Iraq lacked maraging steel sheets of sufficient size and quantity
to manufacture Al Fat’h motor cases. Maraging steel has the
advantage of being easy to form in its original state but, when annealed,
provides excellent rigidity, strength, and crack resistance. Without
maraging steel, the Al Fat’h motor case had to be constructed from 30CrMoV9
sheet steel (see Figure 7 for an
Al Fat’h motor). Difficulties in forming and aligning the cylindrical
shapes needed for the rocket motor cases from this material led to large
miss distances, according to a senior official in the Iraqi missile
- Iraq lacked sufficient propellant mixing capacity. The
mixers and bowls acquired in the late 1980s for the BADR-2000 program
would have sufficed, but these were not available (see Infrastructure
section). Instead, the Iraqis were forced to use four or five smaller
30-gallon bowls to mix the propellant needed for a single Al Fat’h motor,
according to a senior official (see Figure
8). These bowls, using two mixers, were then poured sequentially
into the motor casing. While one senior Iraqi official stated the process
worked well, he also admitted one out of every 10 motors exploded during
motor burn. The use of multiple bowls presented the potential for uneven
curing of the propellant and inconsistent motor performance. In addition,
this process also eliminated the possibility of multiple simultaneous
Solid propellants can be divided into two classes: Double Base (DB)
and Composite propellants.
- DB propellants contain two primary ingredients: nitro-cellulose
and nitro-glycerine. DB propellants can be extruded (Extruded Double
Base—EDB) or cast (Cast Double Base—CDB) to form a variety of shapes.
- Composite propellants are a mixture of finely ground oxidizer
(commonly ammonium perchlorate), fuel (commonly aluminum powder),
and a polymeric binder (commonly HTPB). These ingredients are mixed
and cast into the motor case. The motors spend days at elevated temperatures
to cure the propellant, giving it the correct physical properties.
Composite propellants have a higher combustion temperature and higher
performance than that of the DB type. They are also safer but more complex
to manufacture than DB propellants.
Rocket or Missile?
Although the Al Fat’h systems fielded with the Army and fired during
OIF were unguided and therefore technically rockets, the Iraqi intent
was to field a missile. Because of this ultimate goal, the Al Fat’h
is referred to throughout this document as a missile.
Guidance and Control
The unguided Al Fat’h used simple aft stabilization fins. The guided
version of the Al Fat’h would have had a relatively complicated control
system, with canards, actuators, and a strapdown INS with an indigenously
developed computer and imported gyroscopes and accelerometers. Iraq specified
an INS accuracy of 1 degree per hour drift, which is relatively sophisticated.
Iraq also considered using Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance.
- A highly accurate strap-down system, coupled with an adequate
canard guidance system, would most likely have provided the Al Fat’h
with the specified 150-meter CEP accuracy for the guided variant at
a range of 150 km. That level of accuracy coupled with the submunition
warhead would have made the Al Fat’h a formidable tactical delivery
- The instrument/control section of the airframe, while of an unnecessarily
heavy construction, is constructed using the same material as the rocket
motor casing, thereby simplifying manufacture.
- The planned guidance package for the Al Fat’h would have broken new
ground for Iraq by attempting to incorporate aerodynamic flight controls
onto a ballistic missile. While a proven concept in some countries,
this was the first attempt by Iraq to incorporate this type of control
system into a ballistic missile.
- Iraq attempted to acquire Guidance and Control (G&C) components
and technology from a number of foreign sources. Iraq reportedly received
a sample inertial system from the FRY, but it was considered inadequate
and of poor quality (see the Delivery Systems Procurement section for
more details). There reportedly were 50 G&C sets delivered from
Belarus prior to the start of OIF, according to a source with good access,
although ISG has no confirmation this delivery actually occurred.
- Augmenting the Al Fat’h strap-down INS and canard controls with inputs
from the GPS would have further increased system accuracy.
Despite the lag in procuring the INS and testing delays, design work
on the G&C for the Al Fat’h was well under way prior to OIF. Two guided
flight tests were conducted prior to the war, one with roll control and
a second with pitch control. According to a high-level official
within the missile program, in March 2003, Iraq was only a matter of weeks
from conducting a test flight with a full control system (equipped with
INS and canards). ISG believes that Iraq did not conduct this flight test
because, in December 2002, the UN had ordered that Iraq cease all missile
tests until further notice. While this system would have used
a prototype guidance system built from available components and be less
accurate than desired, it would have allowed the Iraqis to validate the
concepts and techniques.
ISG has learned through debriefings of senior Iraqi officials that there
were originally three warhead designs proposed for the Al Fat’h: a unitary
HE warhead, a conventional submunition warhead, and a miscellaneous warhead
initially suggested to be a Fuel Air Explosive (FAE) warhead. The army
accepted both the HE and submunition warheads, but the FAE warhead was
not pursued (see Figure 9).
- According to documents recovered by ISG, in 2002 the SSM Command presented
a requirement for 100 guided Al Fat’h missiles, 20 of which were to
be equipped with submunition warheads and the remaining 80 with HE warheads,
to the Al Rashid General Company.
The Al Fat’h HE warhead was the same as the Al Samud HE warhead
discussed earlier, which had been derived from the Scud HE warhead.
Sharing the same missile diameter and interface as the Al Samud allowed
for savings on production costs and facilitated the interchange of warheads,
although the Al Fat’h warhead SAFF and arm circuit required adaptation
due to the higher acceleration profile of the Al Fat’h during launch.
- The HE payload mass varied between 260 kg and 300-kg and contained
160-170-kg of HE. Figure 10 shows
an X-ray of the Al Fat’h unitary HE warhead with a damaged impact or
crush switch located in the nose tip.
Strap-Down Inertial Navigation System Tutorial
One of the major costs and maintenance factors in an inertial guidance
system is related to the use of complex mechanisms required to control
the attitude of the platform. If individual gimbaled gyroscopes are
used, then this adds to the system error budget. One approach to eliminating
these problems is the strap-down inertial guidance system.
In a typical strap-down system, the gyroscopes and accelerometers
are mounted on a very rigid structure on the missile. Instead of using
gyroscopes to keep the accelerometers pointed in a constant direction,
a strap-down system allows the accelerometers to rotate with the missile
and uses the gyroscopes to keep track of where each accelerometer is
pointed. Because the accelerometers are no longer oriented along convenient
reference axes, the mathematics become more complex; but, with digital
computers, this is no longer the obstacle it once was.
Strap-down inertial guidance systems offer improved reliability,
lower costs, and the potential for integration with other flight controls.
The keys to strap-down performance are the gyroscopes and the software.
Because of these characteristics, the strap-down inertial guidance system
is ideal for short-range ballistic missile systems.
- The fuze, activated by the impact of the warhead on the ground, sends
a firing signal to a booster charge, which in turn detonates the main
explosive charge. Figure 11 shows
the basic layout of the unitary warhead.
There is no evidence to suggest that unconventional warheads were
to be developed for the Al Fat’h missile. However, as a direct
extrapolation of the Scud conventional warhead design, the Al Fat’h HE
warhead inherits the same primitive design that could allow modification
to accommodate bulk-filled chemical or biological agents.
- Iraq retained the intellectual capital for reproducing the crude “special”
warhead (CBW) design for the Al Husayn missile, so modification and
production of this type of warhead could be achieved in a matter of
weeks with a relatively small team of specialized individuals.
A senior Iraqi missile official indicated that submunition warheads
were deemed to be more effective than unitary HE because they would have
a larger lethal footprint and reduce concerns over poor missile accuracy.
Iraq researched a variety of different configurations for the Al Fat’h
submunition warhead before finally arriving at a design containing 850-900
- These submunitions were based on FRY anti-personnel/anti-tank KB-1
submunition identical to those used in the Ababil-50 submunition payload.
- The submunitions are stacked on top of one another and held in place
by foam molds (see Figure 12).
The KB-1 submunition is an open-ended tube, housing a copper-shaped charge
(see Figure 13). Upon detonation, the
body fragments and scatters the ball bearings surrounding the outer shell,
and the shaped charge fires, projecting the jet forward to penetrate the
target. Typically, the submunitions contain 30 g of explosives.
- ISG judges that it is not possible to modify the KB-1 submunition
to accommodate chemical or biological agents. Considering the
small internal volume of the submunitions and risk of agent fratricide
from the explosive charge, the KB-1 submunition is not a candidate for
chemical or biological agent dissemination.
The shell case of the Al Fat’h submunitions warhead, manufactured by
Al Rashid, was 3 mm thick and constructed of aluminum. The original design
called for an aluminum warhead base, but the warheads produced used steel
due to material shortages. The additional weight of the steel in the production
warheads meant they could carry only 740 to 760 submunitions. Further,
due to limitations in manufacturing technology, the warhead shell was
conical rather than the aerodynamically optimum ogive design.
- Al Rashid General Company began Al Fat’h submunition warhead development
in July 1998. Development continued through 2002, including five static
tests, three of which were successful.
Iraq used detonator cord to fragment the warhead and let the airstream
disperse the submunitions. Initially, Iraq wanted to use a single
burster charge in the center of the warhead to disperse the submunitions
after the detonator cord fractured the warhead and aerodynamic forces
peeled back the skin. Experiments using a live burster charge were conducted
in April and August 2002 and successfully dispersed 850 submunitions over
an area of a 600-meter radius. During one flight-test, however, the burster
failed to detonate. The airstream passing over the exposed submunitions
dispersed the submunitions, and fewer munitions were damaged than experienced
in previous experiments.
- As a result of this test, Iraq removed the explosive from the burster,
but the empty burster tube was left in place to preserve structural
support. Figure 14 is an X-ray of
an Al Fat’h submunition warhead airshell. The black line running parallel
with the sides of the warhead casing shows the detonator cord.
- Figure 15 illustrates the arrangement
of the submunitions about the burster tube located along the central
axis of the warhead.
Early attempts to use timing and barometric fuzes for altitude bursts
of the submunition warhead failed. The problem was resolved (see Figure
16) by employing a diaphragm switch from the Scud barometric sensor
and a battery from an Ababil-50 rocket.
In operation, the warhead is armed by the action of the “G” Switch through
a sustained acceleration of 7.5 G for a minimum of 2.5 seconds. A barometric
sensor detects altitude; when the missile ascends to a height of 5.5 km,
a thermal battery is connected, charging the capacitors within the firing
circuit. As the missile descends through 3 km, the capacitors discharge
providing power to the detonator, which in turn initiates the detonation
cord and the booster rod.
- In practice, the height of burst for submunition dispersal was approximately
2 km (2 km +/- 500 m), according to an official within the Iraqi missile
program. Even with knowledge of the target terrain, such a loose tolerance
is undesirable. (Figure 17 depicts
an Al Fat’h missile with a submunition warhead.)
- Iraq intended to introduce a “strap-down” INS for the Al Fat’h missile
in which presets that relate directly to predetermined burst altitudes
(defined through time, velocity, and trajectory) could be configured
before launch. Such a system has intrinsically greater accuracy in determining
altitude than a barometric sensor.
ISG, through document exploitation and debriefings of senior Iraqi
officials, developed a detailed accounting of the Al Fat’h test program.
This test program, conducted between early 2000 and late 2002
consisted of approximately 50 individual firings, about 17 static motor
tests and about 33 or 34 flight tests. A detailed breakdown of Al Fat’h
missile launches and motor tests is included in the Delivery Systems Annex.
- Between 2000 and 2001, 10 or 12 solid-propellant rocket motor static
tests were conducted at the Al Musayyib Solid Rocket Motor Support and
Test Facility at Al Mutasim. Approximately midway through the static
testing program, missile flight-testing began. This approach allowed
modifications to the motor design to correct errors discovered during
- The testing program passed through various phases as the emphasis
shifted from motor performance and basic flight characteristics, to
accuracy, reliability, and missile acceptance testing.
- Flight-testing began in 2000 and ended in late 2002. By mid-2001 to
late 2002, Al Fat’h flight tests provided relatively consistent range
performance using inert, submunition, and unitary HE warheads. The last
two flight tests constituted the acceptance tests for the unguided variant
of the missile.
- The flight-test program did have difficulties and never achieved the
750-meter CEP expected for the unguided airframe. The system also experienced
a high failure rate during testing with 30% ending in failure and 10%
of the motors experiencing catastrophic failure during firing.
While there are some firm production numbers for aspects of the
Al Fat’h missile program, such as the number of missile flight tests,
estimates for the total number of missiles produced and the number of
missiles delivered to the Army vary widely. Captured Iraqi documents and
other material provided by senior Iraqi personnel provide a breakdown
of warheads, motors, missile airframes, and missile acceptance inspections
for the years 2000 through 2002 (shown in Table 3). Based on these numbers,
missile production probably was limited by Iraq’s ability to produce rocket
- While the figures reflect 95 missiles accepted by quality-control
inspections by 2002, only 92 rocket motors had been produced. In addition,
approximately 11 rocket motors were consumed in static testing for propulsion
- The use of inert warheads in the early test flights may account for
the relatively low number of warheads (79) produced from 2000 to 2002.
Following OIF, several inert Al Fat’h missiles were found, probably
used for troop training.
If true, Iraq produced about 80 combat-ready missiles by the end of 2002.
Thirty-three or 34 missiles were consumed in test flights, leaving about
45-50 missiles available. During the first months of 2003, more missiles
probably were produced, probably no more than one per week. ISG judges
that between five and eight Al Fat’h missiles could have been produced
in 2003, given the typical time associated with propellant curing and
missile assembly, coupled with the interruption in production as Iraq
dispersed material in anticipation of or in response to Coalition attack.
Taking these assumptions together, ISG estimates Iraq had between 50 and
60 Al Fat’h missiles available at the onset of OIF.
- These numbers generally agree with those provided by senior officials
within the Iraqi missile program, where the number of Al Fat’h missiles
provided to the Army varies from as low as 30 to as high as 60. Of these,
perhaps five to eight were equipped with submunition warheads.
- During the war, Iraq fired between 12 and 16 Al Fat’h missiles. In
addition, informal assessments of Al Fat’hs destroyed or damaged during
the war vary from four to 13. To date, Coalition forces have collected
at least 10 Al Fat’hs.
- Given the above numbers, the number of Al Fat’h missiles unaccounted
for could vary from 0 to 34 (see Table 4). However, ammunition
and weapon systems are being collected and destroyed all over Iraq,
and a number of Al Fat’hs have been misidentified as FROG-7 or ASTROS
battlefield rockets. A full accounting of Al Fat’h missiles may
not be possible.
| Table 3
| Missile Accepted in QC Inspections
| 33 ?
| Table 4
|| Worst Case
|| Best Case
| Missiles Available to Army
| Missiles fired
| Missiles damaged/destroyed
| Missiles Captured
| Unaccounted for
The Al Fat’h was produced with materials allowed under UNSC resolutions,
although a number of the ingredients in the Al Fat’h solid-propellant
were subject to monitoring and verification under Annex IV of the Plan
approved by UNSCR 715 (for a breakdown of specific propellant components
listed in Annex IV, see the Delivery Systems Annex). Iraq attempted to
acquire a number of these materials without the knowledge of the UN, and
these efforts are noted in the Delivery Systems Procurement section.
The range capability of the Al Fat’h exceeded the 150-km limit
imposed by the UN. A senior Iraqi official insisted the missile
was designed to have a maximum range of 145 km with a 260-320 kg warhead,
but, during flight tests between 2000 and 2002, the Al Fat’h flew beyond
150 km on at least eight occasions. The senior Iraqi official attributed
the flights with ranges greater than 150 km to inaccuracies in the rocket
motor insulation, resulting in greater than expected propellant mass.
- While Al Samud II tests with ranges in excess of 150 km were a factor
in the UN’s decision to require that missile’s destruction, no decision
by the UN had been made on the Al Fat’h prior to OIF.
- At least six missiles fired during OIF would have exceeded the
150 km range if not intercepted. The longest test flight declared
by Iraq was 161 km, while the longest combat range probably would have
exceeded this range.
Al ‘Ubur Missile Program
The Al ‘Ubur program probably began between 1999 and 2000 after UNSCOM
departed and increased funding was available. The basic concept was to
produce a SAM system, possibly modeled on the advanced Russian S-300 SAM.
While Iraqi personnel reportedly gained access to the S-300, such a program
was likely beyond Iraq’s capabilities and the whole concept assumed an
environment where there was no adherence to sanctions. According to one
senior Iraqi, the program involved not only the missile, but also radar,
launcher, and ground support equipment. This initiative is evidence of
Iraq’s belief that it would be able to import the required materials almost
The Al ‘Ubur SAM is subject to a number of diverse spellings in
its conversion from Arabic to English. While Al ‘Ubur is used here,
the system can be found referred to as Al Ibur, Al Ubour, Al Aboor,
and a number of other variations.
Brigadier General Mahmud Tahir from the Al Rashid General Company headed
the overall development effort. Other program officials from Al Rashid
included ‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’ Al Ta’i (DG of Al Rashid) and Brigadier
Engineer Mar’uf Mahmud Salim Al Jalabi (DG of Al Fat’h General Company).
The Al Fat’h General Company was responsible for the solid rocket motor
and the airframe designs, including the warhead, fuze, structure, aerodynamics,
as well as the G&C system. The Al Milad General Company was responsible
for the development of the radar. The Al Fida’ General Company was responsible
for the launcher.
While some Iraqi officials have stated the Al ‘Ubur program was
intended to produce a SAM, the potential for use as a SSM has been acknowledged
by senior Iraqi missile officials.
- Based on the proven Al Fat’h solid-propellant motor, the Al ‘Ubur
would have used a solid-rocket motor with the same diameter, but one
meter longer than the Al Fat’h. While the Al ‘Ubur motor would have
had a different thrust profile optimized for use as a SAM, the Al ‘Ubur
most likely would have exceeded the 150-km limitation of UNSCR 687 if
used as an SSM, according to a few officials in the Iraqi missile program.
- Because the Al ‘Ubur and Al Fat’h solid-rocket motors would use the
same propellant mixture, creation of an Al ‘Ubur motor optimized for
an SSM role would have only required the creation of a different mandrel
to optimize the thrust profile.
- Flight-testing of an Al ‘Ubur SAM would have provided relevant performance
data if the missile was to be used in an SSM role.
Based on reporting disclosures about the development of the Al
‘Ubur, ISG judges that, Iraq most likely intended to modify the Al ‘Ubur
motor, once developed, for use in an SSM mode. Based on its previous success
in converting the SA-2/Volga into an SSM, Iraq possessed the techniques
required to undertake such a project.
The Al ‘Ubur solid rocket motor was the major system component
furthest along in development by the time of OIF. The Al ‘Ubur
motor was effectively an Al Fat’h motor with its length extended from
3.5 to 4.5 m. It had the same 500-mm diameter, propellant formulation,
and steel case material. The Al ‘Ubur had a different wagon wheel grain
design to provide a different thrust profile and a different nozzle optimized
for a SAM, compared to the 3-point star configuration in the Al Fat’h,
according to a senior program official.
- The Al ‘Ubur thrust profile failed to meet the calculated thrust,
but the motor was considered more “stable” than the Al Fat’h motor,
according to the same official.
Guidance and Control
Given the ever-decreasing effectiveness of sanctions, Iraq was
able to consider bolder steps in areas where it still had technical difficulties.
If the sanctions regime remained strictly enforced, there would have been
little or no effort by Iraq to address these shortfalls. The Al
‘Ubur design called for a strap down INS that would be provided by a Russian
company and an integrated radar seeker for terminal guidance, but the
entire G&C system was never prototyped. The Soviet R-40 (AKRID/AA-6)
AAM was used for simulation and parts.
- The Al ‘Ubur SAM system would have been an extremely complex system
with an integrated radar seeker, phased array radar, and controlled
via communication uplinks and downlinks embedded into the radar waveforms.
The communication links and the radar were to be designed by the Al
Milad General Company.
According to an official within the Iraqi missile program, an unnamed
Russian company was to provide eight Fiber-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) INS systems;
four would go to Al Karamah and four to Al Milad. Four ring laser gyroscope
(RLG) INS systems were also to be provided and equally divided between
Al Karamah and Al Milad. Al Karamah received up to seven FOG systems by
the second-half of 2002.
ISG judges that this information may be in error because use of
a full INS on a SAM is not required. It is more likely that this information
is associated with Al Fat’h or Al Samud II as specified by another source.
The Al ‘Ubur SAM was designed to carry a fragmentation warhead weighing
176 to 180 kg.
Al ‘Ubur motor testing began using an intermediate subscale motor contained
in an Ababil-50 motor case. These tests had mixed test results, using
various propellant grain designs. Full-scale motor testing probably began
in 2002, but reports vary on the actual start date.
- One senior official reported that a successful full-scale test was
conducted on 12 January 2002.
- Another official reported that full-scale testing was conducted from
approximately June to November 2002.
Following the successful static tests, Iraqi officials discussed
using the Al ‘Ubur in an SSM role, although no formal actions were taken.
Range calculations produced a variety of results.
- One calculated range is given as 220 km and a second gives a range
of 206 km, according to two officials involved in the Al ‘Ubur program.
Details of the missile configurations used in these calculations are
- There were no flight tests of the Al ‘Ubur, and activity on the program
ceased with the beginning of OIF.
The manufacture of a modern phased array-based SAM system would have
been a daunting challenge for Iraq, even with access to Russian technical
specifications. Exploitation of captured documents, however, indicates
development of the SAM elements of the Al ‘Ubur program by the end of
The potential use of the Al ‘Ubur SAM as a long-range ballistic
missile is clear, and high-level officials in the program indicated they
had considered using the Al ‘Ubur as an SSM. The similarities in the proposed
rocket motor and INS indicate an Al ‘Ubur SSM could be developed quickly,
but such development could be detected during the inspection process.
Further, given the longer motor and potential for lighter materials, an
Al ‘Ubur SSM would certainly have exceeded the 150-km limit imposed by
the UN. ISG judges that elements of the Al ‘Ubur SAM program were well
beyond Iraq’s manufacturing capabilities.
Other Composite Solid-Propellant Systems
By the late 1990s, Iraq had a number of rocket systems that had reached
the end or exceeded their shelf life and needed refurbishment, including
the FROG-7 (LUNA), Ababil-50, and some SAMs. Iraq was not able to
acquire replacement systems from abroad or get help for the refurbishment
effort; it had to rely on domestic capabilities.
In 2000-2001, Iraq began a “re-motor” project to extend the shelf life
of its FROG-7 (LUNA) and Ababil-50 battlefield artillery rockets by replacing
their aging double-base solid rocket motors with more energetic composite
solid-propellant motors. Renamed Al Ra’ad and Al Nida’, respectively,
these efforts helped advance the composite solid infrastructure in Iraq.
It is unclear if these projects were completed by the time of OIF.
- Composite propellants offer higher energy than double-base propellants,
so the re-motor effort renewed the shelf life and improved performance
of the rockets.
Long-Range Ballistic Missile Projects
United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687 restricted Iraq’s
delivery systems to ranges not in excess of 150 km. Further, UN sanctions
and rigorous UNSCOM inspections were a serious constraint to Iraq’s missile
research and development programs. Though unable to overtly develop long-range
missile projects, compelling evidence suggests that Iraq, in order to
reach targets like Tel Aviv and Tehran, never abandoned its interest in
delivery systems with ranges well beyond 150 km. Husayn Kamil’s
flight to Jordan effectively ended all work on long-range missiles until
the efforts were reconstituted after 1998.
- A senior Iraqi missile engineer stated that the subject of long-range
missiles (i.e., missiles with ranges greater than the 150 km) was not
raised again until 1997/98 at a monthly ballistic missile meeting chaired
by Huwaysh at MIC. At the meeting, Huwaysh reportedly stated his desire
for a 1,000-km missile.
- According to Kamal Mustafa “Abdallah Sultan Al Nasiri, the former
Secretary General of the Republican Guard, Huwaysh in the summer of
1999 gave a speech to the Republican Guard and SRG audience in which
he stated that Iraq was developing a missile with a range of 500 km
and that it would take five years to develop.
- At a June 2000 meeting, Saddam ordered Huwaysh to develop a missile
with a range greater than the range of the Samud II, according to a
senior official within the Iraqi missile program.
Iraq has a history of studies, research, development, and production
of various long-range ballistic missiles. Much of this work found its
way into more recent studies.
Al ‘Abid (1989)
By 1989, Iraq had designed, manufactured and tested the first
stage of a three-stage space launch vehicle. The first stage was
a cluster of five Scud-variant missiles. Although the vehicle failed
after 45 seconds, it proved a successful technology demonstrator for
generic clustered designs.
- The test achieved multiengine ignition, thrust build-up, release,
and controlled ascent during part of the first stage trajectory. At
about Mach 1, the aerodynamic stresses overcame the control authority
and the missile inter-stage collapsed, according to an interview with
a senior missile official and an UNSCOM report. According to senior
Iraqi officials, Iraq continued studying clustered Scud engines for
a year after the Al ‘Abid failure, ceasing in 1991.
Multistage Launch Vehicle Simulations (1990-95)
In 1991-92, Iraq conducted flight simulations of a three-stage
missile incorporating Scud-type missiles, according to material obtained
by the UN. According to an Iraqi official, this was a theoretical
study that included trajectory calculations for several clustered SA-2
engine configurations. The configuration was different from that of
earlier work conducted on Al ‘Abid.
In 1993, Iraqi engineers were ordered to design a turbopump capable
of simultaneously feeding a cluster of four SA-2 engines. Although
no turbopumps or engine clusters were produced, the concepts were well
At the end of 1994 through early 1995, Iraq performed studies
for multi-stage launch vehicles using performance parameters derived
from clustered SA-2 engines. The configurations studied would have
exceeded 150 km.
Clustering SA-2/Volga Engines Designs
ISG has retrieved copies of Iraqi design drawings for two long-range
missiles, one based on a cluster of two SA-2/Volga engines and the other
based on a five-engine cluster. Although dated 23 August 2000,
the drawings are not signed and therefore the name of the draftsman or
designer is unknown. Despite extensive research, ISG has not determined
a single, clear explanation of the events leading up to and since the
date of these drawings, but Iraqi interest in designs containing clustered
engines can be traced back at least as far as 1989. See Figure
18 for design drawings.
- One design uses a two-engine cluster mounted in a flared engine bay
that supports a 760-mm-diameter airframe. Iraqi experts have assessed
the range of this version to be at least 500 km. The propellant tanks,
pressurization system, G&C, and warhead of this concept would be
common with the 760-mm Al Samud II ballistic missile.
- The second design uses a five-engine cluster mounted in a flared engine
bay that supports a 1,250-mm-diameter airframe. Iraqi missile experts
assessed this design would reach a range of at 950-1,000 km.
Various sources have provided ISG with differing timelines of events
for the clustered engine project pursued by Al Karamah, but most sources
suggest the order to develop long-range missiles came in 2001. The
chronology of events that led to the creation of these designs is unclear.
- According to an engineer within the Iraqi missile program, Huwaysh
ordered work to start on an initial design of a long-range missile on
15 November 2000 following the first successful flight test of a modified
500 mm Al Samud. The engineer added
that this work was completed in April 2001.
- The same source later stated that Huwaysh ordered the design work
to begin in August 2001 and requested detailed design to commence the
- According to another senior missile official, Huwaysh instructed Al
Karamah in July 2001 to start work on long-range missiles.
- Huwaysh insisted that, at a meeting with Saddam at the beginning of
2002, Saddam ordered him to create a missile with 750-km range and that
it was expected to be ready in six months.
Though the dates on the actual design drawings obtained by ISG
suggest they were created in August 2000, other information suggests that
modifications were made throughout 2001. Source reports provide conflicting
accounts as to when they were actually completed.
- Designs for the two-engine and five-engine missiles were delivered
to Huwaysh in December 2001 or January 2002, and all work on these was
completed in January 2002.
- A high-ranking MIC official reported that these designs were completed
in March 2003.
- In July 2002, Huwaysh ordered that all documents pertaining to the
long-range missiles be returned to him. He said that Muzhir brought
him two boxes of documents and in December of that year. However, other
documentation not forwarded to Huwaysh had been recovered by ISG.
- Huwaysh ordered at the onset of OIF that all the documents on the
long-range missile project be destroyed, according to several high-level
officials in the Iraqi missile program.
The evidence collected by ISG suggests Iraq had not completed the
designs by the time UNMOVIC entered Iraq, although sources vary on the
timing of the design work. Many sources refer to the project as
being highly secret with information being passed only in person at face-to-face
meetings among a select few individuals, which may account for discrepancies
in dates provided by individuals without direct access. Figure
19 depicts the timeline of missile developments.
ISG’s confirmation that Iraq was working on designs for long-range
clustered-engine missiles, although this work never progressed beyond
the design phase, is evidence that the Regime was covertly researching
the development of missiles with ranges in excess of 150 km. Further,
Iraq took advantage of existing Al Samud II designs and had begun to develop
the infrastructure that could have led to rapid development of these concepts.
- The use of a 760-mm-diameter airframe could allow the use of
Samud II jigs and fixtures to support the two-engine cluster design.
ISG judges that it could provide a good concealment mechanism for work
on prohibited programs.
- The new test stand at Al Rafah was much larger than the preexisting
engine test stand and could have been modified for testing clustered
SA-2 engines. According to one Iraqi engineer, work on the new stand
began by August 2001, suggesting that the requirement for the facility
must have been drawn up much earlier.
- Statements by various sources indicate that, before OIF, Iraq had
over 200 SA-2 engines that had been scavenged from damaged missiles.
Adding to this, at least 380 engines imported from Poland and possibly
Russia or Belarus were more engines than probably required to immediately
support the Al Samud II program. Some of these engines could have
been available for use if Iraq had moved forward with a clustered-engine
SA-2 Conversions to Surface-to-Surface Missiles
Numerous sources involved in Iraq’s missile program have admitted
to ISG that from 1997 until 2003 Iraq had several undeclared programs
to convert SA-2 SAMs into SSMs with maximum ranges from 250 km to 500
km. Though ISG has not been able to confirm these claims, source
interviews indicate that Iraq pursued at least four projects.
- According to a missile program official, in approximately 1997 (while
UNSCOM were monitoring in-country), Iraq initiated an effort to convert
the SA-2 into an SSM with a range of at least 300 km. Iraq conducted
two tests in late-1997 or early-1998 along depressed trajectories so
that they would not exceed 150 km. Iraqi officials assessed, however,
that the missiles were capable of reaching 300 km but with poor accuracy.
Work on this program ceased and the only retained documentation consisted
of range calculations for the missile at various launch angles. ISG
has yet to recover these calculations.
- Three missile officials from Al Kindi disclosed information about
the Sa’d project, which began in 2000, to convert the SA-2 into an SSM
with a theoretical range of 250 km. A MIC committee decided to withhold
this information from the UN because the project had not yet reached
the prototype stage, and all documentation was removed from Al Kindi
prior to the return of UN inspectors in 2002.
- The missile program official also knew of another project initiated
in 2001 or 2002 after a study by ‘Ali ‘Abd-al-Husayn who was later transferred
to work at the NMD. The source had no other information about this project.
- The final project was initiated either immediately before or during
OIF, according to an Iraqi scientist. This was a ‘crash’ project under
the control of Al Milad General Company and discussed at MIC during
a meeting on 15 March 2003. The project converted two SA-2s into SSMs,
but Iraq was unable to flight test them due to the speed of the prosecution
of the war, according to a senior official within the Iraqi missile
In all cases, from the evidence collected to date, Iraq had not
undertaken the wholesale conversion of SA-2 missiles to SSMs, and ISG
has uncovered no evidence that payloads designed for these missiles would
be anything other than the original HE warheads.
Large-Diameter Solid-Propellant Missile Project
In 2000 or 2001, Iraq began development efforts toward a long-range,
solid-propellant ballistic missile that would, when fully developed, greatly
exceed the 150-km-range limit imposed by UNSCR 687. Further, the program
appears to have been highly compartmented and virtually undocumented.
Destruction of infrastructure previously associated with prohibited
programs in accordance with UNSCR 687 effectively limited Iraq’s pursuits
to research and development efforts.
Iraqi desire for a long range, solid-propellant ballistic missile system
in 2000-2001 can be traced to the BADR-2000 program from the mid-1980s.
This program would have produced a two-stage, 750-km-range ballistic missile
system using a 0.8-meter-diameter solid-propellant motor as the first
Reports vary, but, beginning in 2000-2001, and maybe even earlier, Iraq
again decided to pursue a long-range solid-propellant missile.
- Starting perhaps as early as 1998 or in 2000-2001, Huwaysh ordered
the design of a long-range solid-propellant ballistic missile according
to several senior missile officials.
- According to Huwaysh, in early 2002, Saddam ordered the construction
of a missile with a minimum range of 650 km. Huwaysh then directed Dr.
Muzhir Sadiq Saba’ Khamis Al Tamimi and ‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’ Al
Ta’i to conduct feasibility studies of such a missile, one as a liquid
and one as a solid.
Although it is unclear when the program started or what the range requirements
were, Huwaysh in 2000 or 2001 formed a small, select Large Diameter Missile
(LDM) committee and reportedly tasked the committee with developing a
400-km-range solid-propellant ballistic missile, according to senior Iraqi
- One senior Iraqi official reports the committee consisted of Huwaysh,
‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’ Al Ta’i (DG of the Al Rashid General Company),
Mar’uf Mahmud Salim Al Jalabi (DG of the Al Fat’h General Company),
Muzahim (probably Staff Lt Gen Muzahim Sa’b Hasan Muhammad Al Nasiri,
Senior Deputy to the MIC Director), and Muzhir Sadiq Saba’ Al Tamimi
(DG of the Al Karamah General Company).
- There are conflicting numbers for the required range of this missile.
Various high-ranking former Iraqi officials have offered range requirements
of 400 km, 500 km, at least 650 km, 400 to 1,000 km, 500 to 1,000 km,
1,000 km, or 1,000 to 1,200 km. Further, a payload of 500 to 1,000 kg
was mandated, depending on the source of the reporting.
By the late 1990s, Iraq’s composite, solid-propellant ballistic missile
capabilities were centered in the Al Rashid General Company and the Al
Fat’h General Company, but only Al Rashid pursued development of the long-range
missile. According to a senior missile official from Al Rashid, Huwaysh
ordered the development of a solid-propellant missile with a range of
at least 600 km carrying a payload of 500 to 1,000 kg.
- According to senior Iraqi officials, there were no written records
of the development effort, and all affected computer hard-drives were
reformatted prior to the return of UN inspectors in 2002.
- While it appears that only one long-range solid-propellant development
effort was pursued, the compartmented nature of the program led some
Iraqi officials to believe there may have been multiple efforts.
- The solid-propellant development effort undertaken by the Al Rashid
General Company was augmented with personnel from the Al Fat’h General
Company and other MIC entities including Hashem ‘Abd Al Muhammad of
Al Amin factory, Brigadier ‘Abd-al-Hamid of Al Karamah (warheads), Al
Jalabi of Al Fat’h (propellant), and Brigadier Hashim of Al Fida’ General
- A senior Iraqi official stated the Al Rashid-based design effort consisted
of ‘Abd-al-Baqi, Dr. Sa’d Tami Hamidi Al ‘Anbaki (Chief of the Engineering
Department), Sadday Ibrahim (Engineer), Dr. Sa’d Mahmud Ahmad (Propellant
Chemist), and Sa’d Muhammad (senior Al Rashid official). According to
this source, Al Rashid was pursuing a 600-km-range missile.
The Al Rashid effort went forward in 2001. The initial concept based
on a cluster of three Al Fat’h motors was rejected because of modeling
limitations. The selected design consisted of a 0.8- or 1.0-meter-diameter
motor that may have been based on the BADR-2000 design.
- The design reportedly would involve a missile 6 to 7 meters long with
an accuracy of 2% of the range flown for a spin-stabilized version and
3 to 5% for an unguided version.
- The solid rocket motor would have had a propellant mass of 4,000 to
5,500 kg as compared with an Al Fat’h motor propellant mass of 828 kg.
Al Rashid moved forward with rocket motor development efforts. Iraq attempted
to use a barrel section from the Supergun project to create a prototype
1.0-meter-diameter motor case, but the effort failed because of material
incompatibilities when Iraqi technicians were unable to weld the Supergun
section to the motor end domes.
- All associated materials were either destroyed prior to the arrival
of UNMOVIC in 2002 or reused as motor casting chambers.
- Most of the reporting on this development effort does not specify
the type of warhead envisioned, with three exceptions. One senior Iraqi
specifically stated the missile was developed for a chemical payload,
while two another - specifically stated the warhead would be high explosive.
ISG found no evidence to support either claim.
While Al Rashid was pursuing the long-range design, a senior Al Rashid
official apparently had doubts that it could be completed. Although he
reportedly never formally stated the missile could not be developed, he
apparently did inform Huwaysh sometime in 2001-2002 of limitations in
Iraq’s solid-propellant infrastructure, stating that a missile with a
range of 650 km would require 5.5 tons of propellant. Huwaysh reportedly
informed Saddam Husayn.
- Although still limited, Iraq had made substantial infrastructure improvements
that would have improved its ability to manufacture large motors. At
least one of the 300-gallon propellant mixers “destroyed” by UNSCOM
was repaired; Iraq tried, unsuccessfully by the time of the return of
the UNMOVIC inspectors, to repair the second. In addition, casting pits,
annealing furnaces, and test stands needed for development of long-range
solid-propellant missiles were repaired, modified, or created.
- Had the effort continued, a long-range solid-propellant missile
could have been produced within 5 years, according to one senior Iraqi
- According to an engineer in the Iraqi missile program, in early 2001
per directive of Huwaysh, a study was undertaken by the Al Fida’ General
Company to design a solid-propellant missile launcher for a missile
with a range of 500 km. Work on this project ceased upon the arrival
of UNMOVIC inspectors. Documentation of this project was destroyed with
the exception of engineering designs for the launcher shown in Figure
New Cruise Missile Projects
After UNSCOM inspectors left in 1998, Iraq continued with one cruise
missile project and began another. Both of these modifications were to
the HY-2 anti-ship cruise missile. The first project, which was
declared by Iraq in its July 1996 Full, Final, and Complete Disclosure
(FFCD) as the Al Faw 150/200, was an attempt to extend the range of the
HY-2 from about 100 km to 150 km. An attempt to build a 1,000-km range,
turbojet-powered cruise missile was a more ambitious second project known
as Jinin that began in late 2001.
HY-2 Range Extension
‘Abd-al-Tawab ‘Abdallah Al Mullah Huwaysh, the Minister of Military Industrialization,
created the Special Projects Office (SPO)—directly subordinate to himself
and with direct links to the President’s Office—because he wanted a few
key projects to receive high-level attention and financial support. One
such secret project (between MIC, the Iraqi Navy, and the Al Karamah General
Company) sought to extend the range of the HY-2 cruise missile to 150
km using cannibalized components from their inventory of surplus C601
and C611 anti-ship cruise missiles and changes to the propulsion system.
- According to an Iraqi scientist, the first test was conducted in August
1999 at a location in Basrah. Though this land attack cruise missile
(LACM) test was declared by Iraq to the UN in the Currently Accurate,
Full, and Complete Declaration (CAFCD), Iraq did not disclose that this
was part of a range extension project.
According to source reports, Al Karamah experimented with different engines
and propellant modifications to increase the HY-2 range. A different engine
(C-611) using higher-energy propellants would be required to reach the
range goal for the project.
- Conflicting reports from engineers involved in the program indicate
Iraq used engines from the P-15, C601, and C611 as replacements for
the HY-2 engine, and that each attempt was successful.
- According to several missile officials, Al Karamah changed the fuel
used in the HY-2 from TG-02 to higher-energy AZ-11(a blend of 89% DETA
and 11% UDMH). The change required adjustments to the engine fuel pumps
to optimize the fuel/oxidizer mixture ratios.
- A flight test of the modified HY-2 achieved a range of 168 km, according
to Huwaysh. After that, Al Karamah made engine and tank adjustments
to keep the range below 150 km to avoid the attention of the UN.
- ISG judges it unlikely that all three engine replacements were
successful. Changing the fuel and readjusting all of the engines mentioned
would probably not result in a range extension to 168 km. A
range extension to 150 km is more likely achievable by using the C-611
engine with AZ-11 fuel.
Several sources have indicated the intended warhead for the extended-range
HY-2 was a HE warhead consisting of 500 kg of TNT. ISG has uncovered
no information to suggest this cruise missile would carry a submunition
or CBW warhead.
Guidance and Control
Iraq’s extended-range HY-2 program would depend upon the acquisition
of navigation and guidance systems that were more sophisticated than the
original or readily available components; acquisition of such systems
were forbidden by UN sanctions. Iraq began making plans to acquire such
systems, but this was not a priority for the program.
- An engineer in the program indicated that modification and testing
of the propulsion system were the first priorities, and navigation and
guidance would be addressed nearer the end of the program development
- In the event Iraq could not scavenge or adapt guidance systems from
other missiles like the C-611, it planned to acquire them from outside
Reporting from several sources consistently indicates that the
extended range HY-2 successfully flew to at least 150 km, and possibly
168 km. Although the goal of the program was to provide a greater
stand-off capability against ships and to make up for the loss of an air-launched
cruise missile capability, the research directly contributed to the longer
range Jinin project.
- The extended-range HY-2 program if during flight tests did not exceed
150 km likely would not have constituted a violation of UN resolutions.
- Huwaysh commented that Iraq targeted Kuwait with its deployed extended-range
HY-2 missiles during OIF.
The Jinin [Jenin] Project
In 2001 and 2002, Iraq attempted to convert the HY-2 anti-ship cruise
missile into a 1,000-km-range land-attack cruise missile (LACM), which
would build on the HY-2 range extension project that had already introduced
upgrades—performed by the Al Karamah General Company —to the flight computers,
engines, and propellants. A missile with this range would be able
to reach targets in Iran and Israel from within Iraq’s borders. The
Jinin project was interrupted by OIF before any flight tests occurred.
- According to an engineer in the Iraqi missile program, the Jinin project
was conceived in November 2001 and received MIC approval in June 2002.
In this time frame a host of other long-range projects involving ballistic
missile systems were receiving increased attention. The project officially
started on 1 June 2002 and was intended to be a three-to-five-year development
project, but it was reportedly canceled in December 2002 after UNMOVIC
entered Iraq. However, the original airframes and rocket engines were
reassembled and returned to storage about two weeks after UNMOVIC’s
arrival for fear of the project being discovered.
- The Al Karamah General Company was assigned overall project responsibility
with the DG of Al Karamah (Dr. Muzhir), ultimately responsible for the
project. However, Brigadier General Nadhim from Al Karamah was considered
to be the project manager and systems engineer.
The initial concept involved modifying an HY-2 by replacing the
sustainer propulsion system with a modified helicopter turboshaft engine
to sustain cruise flight, which would eliminate the oxidizer tanks and
enable a much longer range. The program fell into four distinct
phases, according a senior program manager, who felt a flight test could
be conducted in three years.
- Phase one would use computer simulations to test concepts for maintaining
structural integrity and stability during engine integration and would
attempt to convert surplus helicopter turboshaft engines to produce
thrust rather than torque.
- Phase two would test and install the engines.
- Phase three would build and flight test a prototype.
- Phase four would work on guidance, navigation, and control.
The Jinin program involved several research, development, and production
organizations: Al Quds for airframes and warheads, Al Milad for G&C
systems and aerodynamics, Al Fida’ for the launcher, Ibn-Firnas and Iraqi
army helicopter workshops for the engine modifications, and Al Karamah
for final assembly.
Iraq planned to convert the HY-2 from rocket-powered to turbojet-powered
using surplus helicopter engines. Initially, Iraq planned to use
Mi-8 “TV-2” helicopter turbines modified to produce thrust rather than
- Propulsion engineers at Ibn-Firnas estimated that the Jinin would
require 2,670-Newtons (600 pounds) of thrust, but the TV-2 engine testbed
(captured by ISG) was capable of producing only 2,000-Newtons (450 pounds)
of thrust. As a result, Ibn-Firnas began studying the conversion of
the Mi-17 “TV-3” helicopter engine.
- UNMOVIC inspections commenced before TV-3 testbed demonstrations could
be completed, and the testbed was shut down to prevent inadvertent observation
- Both of these engines could fit into the HY-2 airframe without extensive
modifications, thus avoiding new aerodynamic problems caused by structural
changes. The engine air intake would be located on the bottom of the
missile about midway along the body.
Reportedly, Ibn-Firnas engineers believed the modification from turboshaft
to turbojet would be difficult because the stators (vanes) could not be
removed since they were integral to the engine’s ball bearing assembly.
They believed that, although the modifications would be challenging, they
could solve the problems with enough time and money. However, reports
vary as to the success and extent of the overall engine modification program,
and to the status of the design documentation.
- According to a source with excellent access, engineers only reached
the modeling phase of development with no tests of an operating engine
for Jinin. Additionally, all of the engine modeling work, drawings,
and related documents were destroyed at Ibn-Firnas by fire and looting
- An engineer with direct access indicated that the design work was
intentionally destroyed in February 2003 due to fear of UNMOVIC’s possible
discovery of the project. The source believed it could be regenerated
within a couple of weeks if UNMOVIC left and the leadership demanded
the project continue. This concept is supported by reports of Saddam’s
goal for a program reconstitution capability of less than six months.
- An engineer in the Iraqi missile program stated that a modified Mi-8
engine test succeeded, but with lower than expected thrust levels. These
lower thrust levels were attributed to the poor condition of the older
engine. Iraq expected that using newer Mi-17 engines would alleviate
the thrust problem, but that work was interrupted by the arrival of
UNMOVIC before testing could begin.
- The same source indicated that the modified Mi-8 engine was moved
to Ibn-Firnas for storage. An Mi-8 turboshaft was recovered from the
engine static test stand at Ibn-Firnas by US officials in late June
2003. Multiple sources involved in the program indicate the engine was
used in the Jinin program. A small diffuser, found in the Ibn-Firnas
junk yard and identified by the same source to be from the Mi-8 engine
in coalition possession, was mated successfully with the engine exhaust
port, adding some credibility to the source’s claim.
The Jinin missile was intended to carry a HE warhead consisting of 500
kg of TNT. ISG has uncovered no information to suggest this missile
would carry submunitions or CBW warheads.
Guidance and Control
According to a senior program official in July 2003, the Jinin
navigational accuracy would not be an important factor in the first phases
of the project. The priority was simply to get a missile to fly 1,000
km with an HE warhead. This approach was not unusual for Iraq—the
Al Husayn project had adopted the same attitude, which is why the Al Husayn
was so inaccurate, according to the senior program official.
- The program official was initially convinced that the guidance system
for the HY-2 could be used for the Jinin project. He also stated that
the project had not progressed to the stage of working on the guidance
section. The project researchers first wanted to verify the engine would
work and could be mounted successfully on the HY-2 airframe. Had these
steps been successful, they would have begun work on the guidance and
- The HY-2’s existing guidance system was not accurate enough and Iraq
did not have access to any guidance system that would be sufficiently
accurate. The program official indicated that the HY-2 guidance system
would eventually be replaced by a GPS acquired from abroad. As an interim
solution, Al Milad considered using the guidance system from the R-40
(AA-6) missile, which uses three accelerometers and three gyroscopes.
Clearly, Iraq again assumed that sanctions were not an inhibiting
- Another issue, acknowledged by the program official, involved the
control and stability of the missile given the internal rearrangement
of the sub-system components necessary to accommodate the modified engine
(and potential additional fuel tank).
The Jinin project was in the early R&D phase when it was interrupted
by the return of UN inspectors, and it was subsequently canceled.Although
its inherent payload capability of 500 kg could have been adapted for
WMD, there is no evidence of intent for WMD delivery. If the project had
continued, it most likely would have violated UN resolutions.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs)
ISG has uncovered only limited information indicating an overall
program intent for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver chemical
or biological warfare agents. In addition, ISG has noted that Iraq appears
to have embarked on a number of loosely related UAV efforts since 1990.
These efforts can be grouped into two major categories: efforts
to convert manned aircraft into remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), and
efforts to design and build indigenous UAVs, as depicted in Figure
21. Conversion programs include the MiG-21 and L-29 RPVs, and indigenous
developments include the Ibn-Firnas and Al Quds small UAV programs.
Iraq’s UAV efforts began in the late 1980s with the development of small
RPVs for surveillance and reconnaissance roles and continued in 1990 with
the attempt to convert a MiG-21 fighter aircraft into an RPV. The Iraqis
admitted to the UN that the intent for this program was to develop a CBW
delivery platform. After the MiG-21 RPV program failed in 1991, Iraq started
the Yamamah program to research small indigenous UAVs. In 1994-95, the
Iraqis resumed efforts to convert a manned aircraft into an RPV, this
time with the Czech L-29 trainer aircraft.
- Reports differ on the purpose for the L-29. Some Iraqi officials report
hearsay and suspicion that the system was being developed for CBW delivery.
Other sources report the L-29 RPV program had more benign missions such
as target drone and reconnaissance.
- There is no definitive link between the L-29 and WMD. Ultimately,
the L-29 RPV was a technical failure and had its funding terminated
In the 1999-2000 timeframe, Minister of Military Industrialization Huwaysh
felt that small, cheap UAVs were better than converted manned aircraft,
so Iraq began an indigenous reconnaissance UAV and target drone development
program in the Ibn-Firnas General Company that built on the Yamamah research
program of the early 1990s.
- Ibn-Firnas successfully developed the Al Musayara-20 UAV as a battlefield
reconnaissance UAV, which was sold to the Iraqi Army and Republican
Guard in 2002.
- A second development program called Al Quds began at the instigation
of former Yamamah Program Director Brigadier Engineer Dr. ‘Imad ‘Abd-al-Latif
Al Rida’. MIC directed that this program focus on larger UAVs to meet
military requirements for airborne electronic warfare programs. The
Al Quds program had not yet succeeded by the onset of OIF in 2003.
Evidence available to ISG concerning the UAV programs active at
the onset of OIF indicates these systems were intended for reconnaissance
and electronic warfare. However, this evidence does not rule out the future
possibility of adapting these UAVs for CBW delivery if the Iraqi Regime
had made a strategic decision to do so.
- While the Al Musayara-20 UAV and, if fully developed, the Al
Quds UAVs had the capabilities required—range, payload, and programmable
autonomous guidance—to be used as CBW delivery systems, ISG has not
found evidence the Iraqis intended to use them for this purpose.
- ISG has obtained indirect evidence that the L-29 RPV may have
been intended for CBW delivery, but this program ended in 2001.
In November 1990, MIC and the Iraqi Air Force Command embarked on a program
to modify the MiG-21 fighter into an RPV for use in one-way “suicide”
missions. The operational concept was for the aircraft to take off under
remote control, presumably by a ground station, then after reaching a
certain altitude control would be transferred to another, piloted aircraft
in the area. The piloted aircraft would then remotely fly the MiG-21 RPV
to the target area whereupon control would be transferred to the RPV’s
autopilot for the terminal phase of the mission.
- The Iraqis equipped the MiG-21 with an autopilot from the MiG-23 fighter,
due to that autopilot’s better capability to ensure stable flight and
to support all the necessary electrical and mechanical systems. The
MiG-21 RPV was also fitted with servo-actuators for the control surfaces,
throttle, and brakes. The remote-control system used was a German system
produced by the Groupner Company, with eight channels, and operated
on a frequency of 27 MHz.
- At least one flight test was conducted on 10 January 1991 at Al Rashid
Air Base, Baghdad, but technical problems required the onboard pilot
to take control of the aircraft to insure safe recovery and landing.
Roles and Missions
Before OIF, Iraq’s National Monitoring Directorate (NMD) conducted an
investigation into the MiG-21 RPV program to prepare a response to UNMOVIC.
The NMD concluded that the MiG-21 RPV program failed due to lack of time
and expertise to develop a workable control system. They also concluded
that the MiG-21 RPV had been intended for a chemical and/or biological
weapons delivery role.
- In the mid-1990s, Iraq declared to the United Nations that the MiG-21
RPV had been intended for a CBW role.
- The simple onboard sprayer system tested by Iraq (see the Weaponization
section in the BW and CW chapters) would have been operated by a timer
that would be set before takeoff. This RPV was intended for a one-way
flight, flying until its fuel was exhausted.
- The program appears to have ended sometime in 1991. The NMD reported
that the absence of documentation of this fact and other program details
was caused by bombardment of the work site (presumably during Desert
Storm), which was a “shed” in the aircraft repair factory at Al Rashid
Air Base, Baghdad.
L-29 RPV (Al Bay’ah)
Following the failure of the MiG-21 RPV program in 1991, Iraq’s Military
Research and Development Center (MRDC) in 1995 began a program call Al
Bay’ah to modify the Czech L-29 trainer aircraft into an RPV. According
to a report, in 1997, MRDC’s Drone Directorate became the Ibn-Firnas Center
and continued with the development of the L-29.
- Ibn-Firnas modified the L-29 with a remote-control system using four
cameras (primary and secondary forward view; primary and secondary cockpit
view) feeding two displays at stations in a control van adapted from
the control system of the Italian Mirach-100 UAV. Initial taxi tests
of the L-29 RPV took place at Al Rashid Airfield in Baghdad, but due
to an accident (the aircraft impacted the runway barriers), Ibn-Firnas
moved the program to Al Mutasim Airfield (also known as Samarra East
- The first flight test occurred on or about 13 April 1997 and was successful,
followed by a second successful test in June 1997. These tests remained
in the airfield traffic pattern.
- The third flight test was intended to test the maximum range of the
video and command signals. The aircraft successfully flew 60-70 km southeast
of Al Mutasim, but then the ground station lost the video signal from
the aircraft and it crashed. Following this, Ibn-Firnas attempted to
improve the aircraft’s controllability by installing the auto stabilizer
system from the Chinese C-611 anti-ship cruise missile. This modification
was largely unsuccessful due to excessive instrument drift.
Although bombing of Al Mutasim in 1998 during Desert Fox delayed progress
on the L-29 RPV, Ibn-Firnas conducted approximately 26 more flight tests
between 1999 and 2001. All these tests had a pilot in the cockpit and
focused on improving the control system.
- A single source stated that in the spring of 2001, Ibn-Firnas attempted
an unmanned flight that resulted in a crash. Following this crash, Ibn-Firnas
recommended canceling the program. Huwaysh agreed and terminated funding
for the program.
- The initial program manager for the L-29 RPV program was Dr. Mahmud
Modhaffer. Dr. Mahmud departed the program in 1996 and was briefly replaced
by Dr. ‘Imad until 1997. Dr. ‘Imad was subsequently replaced by MIC
Deputy Director Muzahim Sa’b Hasan Muhammad Al Nasiri, who, according
to a worker on the program, had very little technical competence.
Roles and Missions
Multiple sources have described different roles and missions for the
L-29 RPV. These include acting as a decoy for coalition aircraft, an air
defense target, reconnaissance, and potentially a CBW delivery platform.
ISG has not been able to confirm or deny that the L-29 had an intended
CBW delivery role.
- Former officials of Ibn-Firnas reported that the aircraft was to be
used as a decoy for coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones. It
would lure them into an ambush using SAMs (colloquially referred to
as a “SAMbush”), although this mission was never flown. Ibn-Firnas personnel
also reported that the aircraft was to be used as a target drone for
the Air Defense Forces.
- A management level official reported that the aircraft would be used
for reconnaissance and possibly electronic warfare. He also described
the intended use of the aircraft in November 1997 as a “SAMbush” decoy.
- An Iraqi aircraft engineer, with indirect access to the information,
reported that in 1995, many Iraqi Air Force engineers believed the intended
use of the L-29 RPV was to attack a US aircraft carrier with chemical
or biological weapons. This source claims to have been informed by colleagues
who worked on the L-29 RPV that the aircraft would be outfitted with
biological weapons to attack a US carrier in the Persian Gulf, but the
source had no information on how that attack would be conducted. In
addition to the indirect information about biological weapons, the source
also speculated that the L-29 RPV could be armed with chemical weapons.
Huwaysh’s Accounting of the L-29 RPV Program
Huwaysh asked for a review of the L-29 RPV program shortly after taking
over as MIC director in 1997; presumably as part of a broader review of
all MIC programs. Huwaysh said that he was briefed that the roles of the
L-29 RPV were first as a battlefield reconnaissance system and second
as a lure for US aircraft. As a mechanical engineer, Huwaysh believed
the program was foolish for a number of reasons.
- First, turning a manned aircraft with a 500-km range into an RPV with
a UN-mandated maximum range of 150 km was an inefficient use of the
- Furthermore, at the time of the briefing, Ibn-Firnas had not been
able to extend the range of the aircraft beyond 70 km due to line-of-sight
limitations with the ground control station. This short range would
limit the RPV’s utility as a reconnaissance system.
- Finally, Huwaysh felt that there were too few L-29 aircraft available
for conversion and that they were too expensive to operate for the stated
mission, believing that smaller, cheaper UAVs were a better option.
Even with these concerns, Huwaysh was unable to immediately cancel the
L-29 RPV because of Saddam’s personal interest in the program. However,
after several crashes, combined with the Air Force’s refusal to provide
more L-29s for conversion, Huwaysh convened a critical review of the program
in late 2000 with the Ministry of Defense. At this review, the Ibn-Firnas
DG Dr. Ibrahim Hasan Isma’il Smain provided a negative evaluation; following
a crash in the spring of 2001, Huwaysh terminated funding for the program.
During custodial interviews, Huwaysh expressed skepticism of the
stated mission (reconnaissance/decoy) of the L-29 RPV. He reported
that he inherited both the program and its program manager when he became
MIC Director in 1997. In his engineer’s judgment, Huwaysh considered the
L-29 RPV unsuited to the battlefield reconnaissance role.
- According to Huwaysh, Iraqi officials never tested reconnaissance
cameras on the L-29. Further, while the Air Force was the most likely
customer for such an aircraft, it was not involved in the RPV development
and did not appear to be interested in the program.
- In November 2003, Huwaysh stated that the L-29 was a “100 percent
replacement for the MiG-21” RPV and was intended to fulfill the same
mission as the MiG-21. When told that Iraq had declared the MiG-21 RPV
was intended to be a CBW delivery platform, Huwaysh responded, “Whatever
knowledge you have of the MiG-21 is directly related to the L-29.”
- Huwaysh also stated that Iraq developed the MiG-21 RPV as a CBW delivery
platform for use against Iran and that a sprayer for the aircraft had
been developed. In his opinion, the L-29 was more suitable for CBW dissemination
than the MiG-21.
- Repeated attempts (November 2003, December 2003, and April 2004) to
get Huwaysh to be more explicit on this point have been unsuccessful.
In more recent interviews, Huwaysh asserted that he had no direct
knowledge of a CBW delivery role for the L-29 RPP; he only suspected
that that might be the intent because of its unsuitability for its stated
reconnaissance mission and the publicity about the West’s suspicions
about Iraq’s WMD programs.
When confronted by the interviewer that the Minister of Military Industrialization
must know such details, Huwaysh was adamant that, in Saddam’s Iraq, compartmentalization
between organizations prevented full knowledge by anyone but the closest
members of Saddam’s inner circle (“black circle,” in Huwaysh’s words).
Huwaysh denied being a member of that inner circle and denied being a
political or strategic decisionmaker.
ISG cannot confirm or deny an intended WMD delivery role for the
L-29 RPV. The target drone mission for the L-29 RPV, as described
by a former Iraqi Air Force officer who worked on the program from 1997-2002,
is consistent with Western practice for AAM and SAM live fire training.
Further, Huwaysh reported that the number-one lesson Iraq learned from
Desert Storm was the need to significantly improve air defenses; a target
drone of this type could be used to test new air defense systems and to
train crews. However, Huwaysh did not associate the L-29 RPV with this
mission. Finally, the size, operating cost, and complexity of the L-29
exceed the requirements for a battlefield reconnaissance platform.
- If the L-29 RPV mission was truly innocuous, ISG judges that Iraqis
from the shop floor up to the MIC director would know that. Also, the
small number of L-29s available for conversion would minimize its utility
for missile live fire testing and training.
The inconsistency in reporting on intended roles for the L-29 RPV, from
individuals who should be in a position to know, is troubling. Huwaysh’s
CBW delivery “suspicions” may be hints of actual knowledge that he is
unwilling or afraid to share with interviewers. This, combined with indirect
reporting of a WMD delivery role from another source, prevents us from
eliminating an intended WMD delivery role for the L-29 RPV.
- The aircraft’s payload capability and flight performance are sufficient
for use as either a chemical or biological weapons platform.
- Iraq had previously experimented with modifying Mirage F1 external
fuel tanks into biological weapons dispensers and had used L-29 drop
tanks to produce an agricultural spray system for the Hughes 500 helicopter.
- Iraq had the capability to develop chemical or biological weapon spray
systems for the L-29, but there is no evidence of any work along these
ISG judges that, even though this program did not come to fruition,
a foundation of knowledge and a technical basis was obtained from which
Iraq could resurrect chemical or biological weapon dispensing system programs.
Al Yamamah Project
In the 1990s, Iraq began research and development work on UAVs designed
and built specifically as unmanned vehicles. The initial work was the
responsibility of Iraq’s Military Research and Development Committee (MRDC),
directed by Dr. ‘Imad from 1993 until 1996. Between 1995 and 1997 the
MRDC worked on the Al Yamamah UAV project, which formed the foundation
of subsequent indigenous UAV development in Iraq. The Al Yamamah project
consisted of three designs, the Al Yamamah 2, Al Yamamah 3, and Al Yamamah
- The Al Yamamah 2 and 4 UAVs were propeller-driven with pusher piston
- The Al Yamamah 3 was jet powered, using a TS-21 turbo-starter from
the Russian Su-7/FITTER aircraft.
Iraqi engineers realized that most UAVs were not jet powered because
slower, propeller-driven UAVs were simpler to construct and control and
could remain airborne longer. Subsequently, the Ibn-Firnas General Company
copied the Yamamah 2 design, increased the size of its tail boom, and
renamed it the Al Musayara-20 (aka RPV-20 or UAV-20).
Orders by Saddam for a competition between Ibn-Firnas and the Iraqi
Air Force to produce the first fully autonomous UAV, combined with problems
with the L-29 RPV, prompted Ibn-Firnas to concentrate on smaller UAVs.
Saddam directed that funding increases slated to expand and improve
the Air Force be transferred to building UAVs because Iraq was unable
to acquire new fighter and bomber aircraft.
Ibn-Firnas, headed by Major General Ibrahim Isma’il Smain,had at least
three UAV projects under way. The first was a small RPV known as Sarab-1
used solely as an air defense artillery training target. The Sarab-1 had
a 1-to 1 ½-km range and some 60-70 was built. The second was the Al Musayara-20,
which was larger, powered by a 342-cubic centimeter (cc) motor, and used
commercial GPS navigation to fly a programmable flightpath (see Figure
22). The third was colloquially known as the “30-kilo airplane” because
it was intended to have a 30-kg payload capacity.
- Prototypes were built and tested, but the “30-kilo” program experienced
controllability problems and was not completed by the time of OIF. The
“30-kilo airplane” may also be known as the Al Musayara-30 or RPV-30
(see Figure 23).
In June 2002, an Al Musayara-20 UAV flew a demonstration flight
that lasted three hours and covered a total distance of 500 km,
although a source with direct access claimed the UAV remained within 15
km of its launch point. The UAV was initially controlled by the ground
control station, then switched to autopilot shortly after takeoff and
remained on autopilot until recovery.
- In addition, this successful flight renewed the military’s interest
in the Al Quds UAV project, which was concurrently developing larger
UAVs with greater payload capacity for other missions like communications
and radar jamming.
In the fall of 2002, MIC selected the Al Musayara-20 over the Iraqi Air
Force entry (called the Iraqi Hawk) due to its superior performance. In
November 2002, Ibn-Firnas concluded a contract to provide 36 Al Musayara-20
UAVs to the Iraqi Army for battlefield reconnaissance (the Republican
Guard ordered a similar number). The contract specified the delivery of:
- Thirty (30) Al Musayara-20 with autonomous, programmed guidance;
- Six (6) Al Musayara-20 with remote-control capability, for training
- Twelve (12) Yamama-11 training aircraft (probably targets);
- Eight (8) simulators;
- Control, navigation, and reconnaissance equipment;
- Six (6) ground control stations.
ISG has been unable to confirm if the specified items were delivered.
Requirements for the Al Musayara-20 in the Army contract include “…aircraft
equipped with control, remote control and navigation systems via GPS,
and gyroscopic autopilot system” (i.e., automatic preprogrammed G&C
using GPS and gyros). Further specifications are shown in Table 5.
The Al Musayara-20 used a video camera for reconnaissance, but had no
means of downlinking the video in real time. The video was recorded on
board and could be viewed only after the aircraft was recovered. At one
point, there was a request for Ibn-Firnas to develop an electronic countermeasures
payload for this aircraft, but it lacked sufficient payload capacity,
according to a UAV engineer.
Ibn-Firnas developed the Musayara UAV as a reconnaissance platform,
according to Huwaysh, driven by lessons learned from the Iran-Iraq war
where many general officers were shot down on helicopter reconnaissance
missions. However, other roles were considered. In late 2002 or
early 2003, Republican Guard Major Anmar ‘Amil Hiza’ obtained approval
from the Presidential Diwan to use UAVs like cruise missiles to attack
command and control targets of known locations. Anmar contacted Ibn-Firnas
and requested a flight test be arranged to determine if existing UAVs
could perform this mission. Anmar’s requirement was for airplanes that
work as cruise missiles, covering the distance of 120 km, carrying 20
kg of explosives (“TNT”) and flying over 3 km high, with the accuracy
of 99% after entering the coordinates of the target into the flight computer.
- In mid-January 2003, Ibn-Firnas performed the requested flight test
at Tamuz Air Force Base southwest of Baghdad using an Al Musayara-20
UAV with a pre-programmed flightpath launched from the back of a truck.
- Shortly after takeoff, the UAV was switched from manual control to
autopilot and flew the pre-programmed route to Muhammadi AFB, a distance
of approximately 80 km.
- Anmar originally wanted the UAV to crash at a specific geographic
location to prove that it could hit a planned target, but Ibn-Firnas
engineers resisted this plan, insisting on recovering the UAV by parachute
so it could be used again.
Reportedly, Anmar was impressed by the test and ordered Ibn-Firnas to
build him 50 Al Musayara-20 UAVs. Ibn-Firnas officials, however, were
suspicious of Anmar’s story about using TNT and, to avoid committing to
the project, advised Anmar’ they would need more details on the mission
in order to build the UAVs for him. Anmar reportedly became very nervous
at being questioned by Ibn-Firnas officials and demanded they carry out
the order, but Ibn-Firnas refused.
- Anmar returned later to MIC with a letter from ‘Abd Hamid Mahmud Al
Khatab Al Nasiri, Saddam Husayn’s personal secretary, ordering Huwaysh
to form a committee to investigate why the first order was not carried
out and who was resisting implementing it.
- Huwaysh appointed his deputy, Muzahim Sa’b Hasan Muhammad Al Nasiri,
as head of the committee, which determined that Ibn-Firnas’ refusal
was justified on technical grounds.
- Huwaysh also expressed skepticism at the concept of loading the UAVs
with 20 kg of TNT, believing that missiles could do the job more effectively.
He feared that, with all the publicity over possible Iraqi possession
of chemical and biological weapons, Anmar may have had something more
deadly in mind.
Despite the committee’s decision, Ibn-Firnas built six Al Musayara-20
UAVs (one prototype and five production models) but never delivered them
to Anmar. The UAVs were built at a new UAV site near the Al Karamah General
Company facility in the Waziriya district of Baghdad. These UAVs were
not equipped with cameras or recovery parachutes.
- Completion of these UAVs was delayed due to unspecified problems with
- After OIF, two Al Musayara-20 UAVs were recovered from the Waziriya
site, probably two of the UAVs manufactured in response to Anmar’s requirement.
Although the Ibn-Firnas UAVs were indigenous Iraqi designs, they
were enabled by and dependent on foreign-procured components. These programs
would not have been possible given strict adherence to sanctions and thus
it was implicit that obtaining foreign material was not a problem. Examination
of two Al Musayara-20 UAVs captured after OIF shows they used British
WAE-342 piston engines.
- Information provided by Huwaysh and other intelligence indicates that
a Ukrainian company known as Orliss, headed by Dr. Olga Vladimirovna,
provided some of the engines for the UAVs.
- The Iraq based Rabban Safina Company also tried to acquire WAE-342
engines through Australia, along with gyroscopes and servomechanisms
from multiple suppliers.
In addition to the engines, Ibn-Firnas imported Micropilot MP2000 and
3200VG autopilots, embedded GPS cards, and industrial computers for the
Al Musayara-20 from Advantech, a Taiwanese firm. Engineers at Ibn-Firnas
wrote the guidance software for the Advantech computers incorporated in
the guidance system. GPS waypoint data were programmed on a laptop computer
and loaded into the UAV’s guidance computer prior to flight.
- According to a former high-level Iraqi official, the Iraqi ambassador
to Russia, ‘Abbas Khalaf Kunfadh, was directly involved in purchasing
GPS components for Iraqi UAVs. He bought GPS equipment from Russian
technicians who were employed by the Russian government, but who designed
and sold the GPS devices out of their homes to make extra money. ‘Abbas
reportedly acquired the GPS devices without the knowledge of the Russian
- According to a high-level official in the Iraqi UAV program, Iraq
obtained four MP2000 and two 3200VG autopilots through an Australia-based
procurement agent. These autopilots were never installed in UAVs because
they arrived just before OIF. Iraqi officials deny attempting to intentionally
acquire mapping software of the United States but did receive mapping
software that came as part of the package with the MP2000 and 3200VG
autopilots. The source indicated that these items were located at Ibn-Firnas
prior to OIF but was unaware of their current location.
| Table 5
|| 3.45 m
|| 4.80 m
|| 0.95 m
| Gross Weight
|| 116 kg
| Empty Weight
|| 80 kg
| Maximum Takeoff Weight
|| 115 kg
| Maximum Speed
|| 170 kph
| Maximum Flying Time per Tank
|| 3 hrs
| Maximum Altitude
|| 3,000 m
| Table 5 Al Musayara-20 specifications
Potential UAV Control Upgrade
In 1998, the Al Razi General Company of MIC began experimental work
on a laser control system for use with UAVs. The experiments culminated
with a UAV test flight using the laser control system in early 2000
at the Tikrit Air Academy. The UAV, identified as an Ibn-Firnas “Musayara,”
flew to a distance of 6-10 km at an altitude of 700 meters.
- The Musayara UAV in this experiment was painted red with a yellow
stripe as was the vehicle identified by an Ibn-Firnas UAV technician
as the “30 kilo” aircraft. However, the dimensions provided for the
UAV used in the laser guidance experiment are smaller than the Al
- The laser control system served only as an uplink command signal,
although research was under way on a two-way control link. The laser
control system required an optical tracker to track the UAV and keep
the laser aimed at the laser receiver on the UAV.
In March 2000, Al Razi Company published a report on the laser control
flight test for MIC. Huwaysh was displeased with the results. He felt
the system was not practical for UAV control because of the short range
of the system, and he canceled the program.
Other foreign components identified in the Al Musayara-20 (depicted in
Figure 24) include:
- Remote-control unit labeled “PCM Telecommand System, Skyleader Radio
- Feranti Technologies vertical gyro Type FS60P;
- Video recorder labeled “VCR Vinton Military Sytems Ltd;”
- Single rate gyro units labeled “BAE Systems;”
- Electronic unit labeled “DMS Technologies, 08/02;”
- Sony 700X Super Steady Shot, digital eight video camera, model DCR-TRV530E;
- Humphrey vertical gyro, model VG34-0803-1;
- Multiplex Micro-IPD 7-channel narrowband receiver 35 MHz;
- Schmalband-Empfanger multiplex Uni 9, 35 MHz.
The Ibn-Firnas programs were Iraq’s most successful unmanned aerial
vehicle programs. Although heavily dependent on foreign procurement,
Ibn-Firnas successfully developed the Al Musayara-20 UAV, capable of long-range,
pre-programmed autonomous flight and intended to perform battlefield reconnaissance
for the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard.
- Less successful were attempts to develop a larger UAV with a greater
(30 kg) payload. However, given time and the successful track
record established by the Al Musayara-20, ISG judges Ibn-Firnas would
most likely have succeeded in developing larger, more capable UAVs.
The June 2002 demonstration flight and the technical specifications
in the Army purchase contract clearly reveal that the Al Musayara-20 may
have violated the range restrictions imposed by United Nations Security
Council Resolutions. Engineering analysis indicates the Al Musayara-20
was capable of a one-way fuel-exhaustion range well in excess of the 500
km flown in June 2002, and with the programmable GPS-based autopilot,
the Al Musayara-20 was not “tethered” by a remote-control system.
- It was necessary for the Al Musayara-20 UAV, in its reconnaissance
role, to be able to remain aloft over the battlefield for extended periods
and image a large number of targets per sortie. These performance parameters
were not necessarily indicative of intent to use the Al Musayara-20
as a chemical or biological warfare delivery platform but provide a
limited inherent capability.
Al Razi General Company’s 1998-2000 attempts to develop a laser,
vice radio, control system would, if successful, have allowed Iraq to
launch and recover UAVs without transmitting in the radio frequency spectrum.
The directional nature of the laser would make UAV control signals
virtually impossible to detect, depriving an adversary of indications
and warning of UAV employment via signals intelligence (SIGINT). Additionally,
a laser control system would be much more difficult for an adversary to
jam or spoof.
- The account of Al Razi’s flight test indicates that it was successful
within line-of-sight range and, if combined with a vehicle with autonomous
guidance capability, could have provided the Iraqis the means to operate
more covertly with their UAVs without laser range limitations.
- If the reports of Huwaysh’s cancellation of the project are accurate,
either Huwaysh obviously did not appreciate this potential operational
advantage, or he did not consider it important.
Republican Guard Major Anmar’s attempt to use the Al Musayara-20
like a cruise missile shows an awareness of the weapon potential of UAVs;
however, the use of a conventionally armed UAV raises questions as to
its actual use. Although the information we have indicates Anmar
intended to arm the UAV with conventional explosives (probably in place
of the recovery parachute), this UAV does have the range, payload, guidance,
and autonomy necessary to be used as a biological weapon delivery platform
ifthe Iraqi leadership made a decision to use it in this
way and if a suitable dispenser system were available. ISG
judges that the Al Musayara-20 does not have sufficient payload capacity
to serve as an effective CW platform.
- A BW platform conversion would require replacing the recovery parachute
with a dispenser system and agent and limiting the UAV to one-way delivery
missions. The same guidance system that allows the Al Musayara-20 to
be programmed to automatically image targets of known location would
be capable of being programmed to activate a BW dispenser at a known
- ISG has not found evidence of intent or research and development
activity associated with using Ibn-Firnas small UAVs as WMD delivery
Al Quds UAV Program
Information uncovered by ISG reveals the Al Quds UAV program began in
late 1999 or early 2000 when Dr. ‘Imad ‘Abd-al-Latif Al Rida’ submitted
a proposal to Hadi Taresh Zabun, DG of the MIC Research Directorate, that
claimed he could develop a better UAV than those being developed by Ibn-Firnas,
according to Huwaysh and an official in the Iraqi UAV program. However,
in late 1999 MIC recalled Dr. ‘Imad from retirement and instructed him
to renew Iraq’s development of small UAVs, which had stalled after Dr.
‘Imad’s retirement in 1997.
- Huwaysh stated that at approximately the same time Dr. ‘Imad
proposed his UAV development program, the Iraqi military asked MIC for
a UAV capable of carrying 30-kg and 100-kg payloads for communications
and radar jamming equipment. A high-level MIC official confirmed
the 30-kg and 100-kg payload goals and that they were intended for jamming
or direction-finding equipment.
- Reportedly, Dr. ‘Imad had no knowledge of the intended mission or
payload for the aircraft he was developing; he was simply given a payload
goal, and one report indicates he was not given the 100-kg goal until
Huwaysh reported that, as part of Saddam’s “Long Arm” policy, he demanded
a 24-hour endurance UAV (estimated range of 2,500 km) in response to Israel’s
high-endurance UAV capability, which is similar to Dr. ‘Imad’s reported
belief that Saddam wanted a UAV on par with those of the US. No direct
evidence links the Al Quds program to these stated range and endurance
goals; the best indication of the actual performance goal for Al Quds
is a June 2002 memorandum from MIC Deputy Director Muzahim to Huwaysh
containing a project update on Al Quds which says, in part, “…‘Imad ‘Abd-al-Latif
indicated that the only part left from the project is the instructions
of the esteemed minister to increase the flying timing to four hours…”
- When confronted with this memorandum, Huwaysh denied that he ever
set such a performance goal for Al Quds and claimed to have never seen
the memo. On the other hand, Muzahim authenticated the memo.
MIC established the Al Quds program in a hangar at Al Rashid Airfield,
and development work began in January 2000. Dr. ‘Imad requested that the
program not be under MIC control, but Huwaysh refused and instead proposed
a relationship where MIC would maintain budgetary and administrative control
through Ibn-Firnas, but Dr. ‘Imad would have managerial discretion over
- This arrangement allowed Dr. ‘Imad to hire his own research and development
staff of 12-20 people (reports differ on its size) and also obligated
Ibn-Firnas to provide material support to Al Quds as required.
- It appears that the Al Quds program was placed under the MIC’s Special
Projects Office (a.k.a. Master Subjects Office), which was created by
Huwaysh for key projects requiring high-level attention and financial
Multiple sources reported that the initial Al Quds efforts involved
attempts to develop a jet-powered UAV that would meet the range and payload
requirements. These efforts reportedly included evaluation of
turbostarter engines from older Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighter aircraft
in Iraq’s inventory and the Microturbo turbojet engine from the Italian
Mirach-100 RPV that Iraq had obtained prior to 1990.
- The MiG and Sukhoi turbostarter were ruled out due to excessive fuel
consumption, and so development proceeded with the Microturbo engine.
The first Al Quds prototype, Quds-1, was 5-6 meters long and had a wingspan
of 10-14 m. One source described the prototype as appearing “stealth”
like but said radar cross-section reduction was not a goal of the program.
Subsequent UNMOVIC photographs (see Figure
25) of later Al Quds prototypes reveal a faceted fuselage somewhat
reminiscent of the US F-117A. Because of initial difficulties in obtaining
servos and associated remote-control equipment, the initial prototype
had a cockpit, flight controls and control, system for manned flight tests
- Unspecified difficulties with the engine forced Dr. ‘Imad to abandon
plans to conduct a manned flight test, and the jet powered Al Quds prototype
- Reportedly, in early 2003 this prototype was dismantled and the components
spread through the aircraft scrap yard at Al Rashid and covered with
palm leaves to conceal them from UN inspectors. One Iraqi scientist
considered the entire attempt to produce a jet-powered UAV to be a “fraud.”
A high-level official in the Iraqi UAV program denied that a large, jet-powered
UAV was the initial intent of the program, and claimed instead that, early
in the program, engineers were having trouble fabricating symmetrical
wings for the prototypes. Asymmetrical wings would cause the aircraft
to roll on takeoff, possibly causing a crash before the operator could
correct the roll. The large, jet-powered, manned vehicle was reportedly
intended only as a testbed for wing symmetry with a pilot on board to
correct the roll tendency.
The difficulties with the initial Al Quds prototype, combined with a
lack of wind tunnel facilities to test the designs, prompted Dr. ‘Imad
to construct scaled-down versions of the prototype for open-air aerodynamic
testing. According to an official at Ibn-Firnas, 10 subscale prototypes
were produced for testing. The official further asserted that Dr. ‘Imad
made a decision to focus on the smaller UAVs to compete with the Al Musayara-20
reconnaissance UAV being developed by Ibn-Firnas.
- These smaller subscale UAVs were the RPV-20a vehicles shown to UNMOVIC
inspectors at Ibn-Firnas in early 2003.
- Reportedly, Dr. ‘Imad never informed MIC management of his decision
to abandon the larger UAV development to focus instead on the smaller
Both Huwaysh and Muzahim believed Dr. ‘Imad was continuing to work on
the large-payload UAV until early 2003 when they convened a program review.
At the review, Huwaysh chastised Dr. ‘Imad for wasting money on the program,
hiring personnel without MIC approval, and for not achieving the stated
goal of the program. Huwaysh also questioned the utility of developing
a competitor to the successful Al Musayara-20.
- Huwaysh claimed that he gave Dr. ‘Imad 30 days to achieve progress
toward the stated goal or the program would be terminated.
A high-level official at Ibn-Firnas provided a description of events
somewhat different from Huwaysh’s statements, claiming that the 100-kg
payload requirement was not levied on the Al Quds program until August
2002 when Muzahim stated MIC did not need both Dr. ‘Imad and Ibn-Firnas
to produce small UAVs. The source suggested that Dr. ‘Imad did not know
what the 100-kg payload requirement was for, but speculated that Muzahim
wanted to install the reconnaissance system from the Mirage fighter in
- ISG judges that the claims for the asymmetrical wing testbed
and the late requirement for a 100-kg payload are associated with the
source’s unwillingness to admit initial failure with the jet-powered
prototype. The weight of evidence indicates that the 100-kg
payload requirement for electronic warfare applications was levied at
the beginning of the program, not over two years later.
- Further, Huwaysh is insistent that 30-kg and 100-kg payload capabilities
were Al Quds program goals from the beginning.
In November 2002, MIC ordered the Al Quds program moved from Al Rashid
airfield to Ibn-Firnas so that Dr. ‘Imad could receive additional help
from Ibn-Firnas personnel. According to a high-level official in the Iraqi
UAV program, this move followed earlier complaints by Huwaysh that Dr.
‘Imad was jumping from project to project without showing signs of progress.
This allegation is supported by a source who worked for Dr. ‘Imad on Al
Quds and said Dr. ‘Imad often switched projects in mid-stream, disrupting
employee work schedules and never seeming to finish anything.
- According to a source associated with the Al Quds project, Dr. ‘Imad
accepted many projects in the belief that the more projects his staff
undertook the more money they could make. This tendency often required
employees to work up to 22 hours straight in order to show any progress
on a project.
Saddam’s “Long-Arm” Policy
Long-range UAV programs along with long-range missiles formed part
of Saddam’s “Long Arm” policy.
This policy was in direct response to:
- the inability of Iraq to acquire new fighter or bomber aircraft.
- Iraq’s inability to counter its enemies’ anti-aircraft missile
- The vulnerability of Iraq’s air force.
The policy provided for the transfer of funds that were destined
for purchases of new aircraft and equipment to the building of UAVS
- An engineer at Ibn-Firnas reported that the reason for the move from
Al Rashid to Ibn-Firnas was MIC concerns that UNMOVIC discovery of a
separate, undeclared UAV program would cause trouble for the Regime.
The Al Quds program was declared to the UN in Iraq’s 15 January 2003
semi-annual declaration. Documentary evidence obtained by ISG indicates
that the Iraqis claimed to the UN that the “unmanned aerial vehicles of
two types 20a and 30a” were “an idea that began in August 2002; and they
announced it on 2003/01/15 according to the Resolution No. 715 (1991)
of the Monitoring Plan.”
- The document further indicates that UNMOVIC inspected this program
four times, on 19 December 2002, 2 January 2003, 10 February 2003, and
4 March 2003.
- Reportedly, UNMOVIC inspected the Al Quds program five times while
it was at Ibn-Firnas.
Another source with direct access reported that, during UNMOVIC inspections,
Al Quds workers were told to each take home components from the Al Rashid
workshop for safekeeping until told to return them. Similar procedures
were reportedly used to disperse equipment prior to the anticipated US
air strikes. Regardless, the documented pre-OIF Iraqi claim that Al Quds
began in August 2002 when it actually began in late 1999/early 2000 possibly
reveals a specific intent to conceal the program from the UN.
Reportedly the eight subscale Al Quds/RPV-20a (please refer to Figure
25) prototypes had a 4.8 meter wingspan, a 15-kg payload to be carried
in a one-square-foot internal compartment with a 24-volt power supply,
a 70-kg maximum takeoff weight, and were powered by a 100-cc, two-stroke,
two-cylinder, nine-horsepower pusher propeller engine.
- The first test flight of the subscale prototypes took place in April
or May of 2000. The first two subscale prototypes were fitted with landing
gear and took off and landed from a runway.
- Subsequent prototypes were launched from the roof of a pickup truck
and recovered by parachute.
A high-level Ibn-Firnas official referred to these eight prototypes as
Quds-1 through Quds-8 and did not acknowledge the jet-powered version
described by other sources as “Quds-1.” However, there was no Quds-9,
and the next aircraft in the series is the Quds-10 or RPV-30a which is
Dr. ‘Imad began development of the Quds-10/RPV-30a in November 2002 (presumably
after the move to Ibn-Firnas). This RPV had a wingspan of 7.22 meters
with a maximum takeoff weight of 130 kg and was intended to demonstrate
the use of a pusher/puller engine configuration. In order to speed and
simplify construction of the aircraft, an L-29 drop tank was used for
- This aircraft flew only once, on 13 January 2003, remaining for 12-14
minutes in the airfield traffic pattern. Like the RPV-20a, Quds-10 was
truck-launched but landed conventionally on the runway.
An Ibn-Firnas engineer claimed that Dr. ‘Imad’s primary motivation for
developing the RPV-30a was to surpass the performance of Ibn-Firnas’ Al
Musayara-20, which had flown a 500-km circuit in June 2002. The engineer
reported that Dr. ‘Imad claimed the lighter structural design of the RPV-30a,
depicted in Figure 26, would give it
a maximum flight time of over six hours, exceeding the program goal of
As with the Ibn-Firnas UAV programs, the Al Quds UAVs were intended
to be capable of autonomous flight using global positioning system (GPS)
navigation and a preprogrammed autopilot. The procurement network
for avionics components for Al Quds was through Ibn-Firnas and was the
same as that described in the previous section. However, the Al Quds program
never progressed to the point of attempting a preprogrammed autonomous
flight and never actually received the Micropilot MP2000 or 3200VG autopilots
used in the Al Musayara- 20.
Huwaysh, Minister of Military Industrialization, and a former Ibn-Firnas
engineer all reported electronic warfare missions for Al Quds UAVs. Electronic
warfare missions include direction finding/signal intercept or communications
and radar jamming. Huwaysh provided the most specific information, saying
that an important lesson learned from the Iran-Iraq war was the importance
of being able to intercept and jam enemy communications and radar signals.
- Huwaysh provided a credible description of the value of UAVs for this
role, discussing how they can be flown over enemy territory to get close
to their targets, improving intercept and jamming effectiveness. Also,
being cheap and unmanned, it would not be a major problem if they were
- An Ibn-Firnas engineer speculated that either the Al Milad or Al Salam
companies would develop the electronic warfare payloads; Huwaysh was
specific that Al Milad was the developer.
A number of other sources indicate the intended payloads for the Al Quds
UAVs were direction finding, communications, and radar jamming, as well
as reconnaissance equipment.
- Reportedly Dr. ‘Imad did not know the intended payloads for his vehicles.
Dr. ‘Imad was only involved in developing the flight vehicle, but speculated
that the payload would be reconnaissance equipment adapted from the
Mirage fighter aircraft.
- ISG judges the 30-kg payload variant would probably be sufficient
for a passive receiver for communication or radar signal interception
and direction finding, but the 100-kg payload would probably be required
to house the transmitter and receiver required for a jamming platform.
- Two lower level sources, one with direct and the other with indirect
information on Al Quds, agreed with the reconnaissance mission of Al
Quds, but the indirect source added that the Al Quds engineers were
directed to leave an empty compartment in the fuselage approximately
40 cm wide by 70 cm long by 50 cm deep for an unspecified purpose. ISG
judges this is probably the recovery parachute compartment.
The evidence accumulated by ISG indicates the Al Quds program was
an initiative to meet an Iraqi military desire for airborne electronic
warfare platforms. The overall program goal for Al Quds was to
produce UAVs with 30-kg and 100-kg payload capabilities for communications
and radar intercept and jamming missions.
ISG has uncovered no information connecting the Al Quds UAV program
to delivery of weapons of mass destruction. However, successful
development of the Al Quds UAVs would have provided Iraq with vehicles
inherently capable of delivering biological (30-kg or 100-kg payload versions)
or chemical (100-kg payload version) weapons. All of the prerequisites—range,
autonomous programmable guidance, and payload—would have been present,
ifthe Iraqis made a decision to use them for this purpose
and ifthey developed a suitable agent dissemination system.
However, ISG has uncovered no evidence of either made to order dispenser
development or intent to use Al Quds for WMD.
The program began in late 1999 or early 2000 but was not declared
to the UN until the January 2003 semi-annual declaration, after Iraq agreed
to re-admit UN inspectors. A completed Al Quds UAV with a range
capability beyond 150 km likely would constitute a violation of UN sanctions.
However, when terminated by OIF, the program had not matured to the point
where it achieved its full performance goals.
Procurement Supporting Iraq’s Delivery Systems
Iraq used covert procurement methods to acquire materiel that was
either banned or controlled under UNSCRs 661, 687, the Annexes to the
Plan approved by UNSCR 715, and the Export/Import Mechanism approved by
UNSCR 1051. ISG judges that these efforts were undertaken to reestablish
or support Iraq’s delivery systems programs. The period from 1998 to the
start of OIF showed an increase in Iraq’s procurement activities, and
it is in this period that ISG believes Baghdad made its most serious attempts
at reconstituting delivery system capabilities similar to those that existed
prior to 1991.
Desert Storm and the various UNSC Resolutions led to the near destruction
of Iraq’s surface-to-surface (SSM) missile force and production infrastructure.
Iraq began building its permitted missile design and manufacturing capabilities,
including the ability to produce limited quantities of certain chemicals
used in rocket propulsion.
- By the end of the 1990s, as was the case prior to Desert Storm, Iraq
had the ability to design and build many of the necessary systems for
an SSM with the exception of complete liquid-propellant rocket engines
and guidance and control systems.
- According to a former MIC executive with direct access to the information,
Iraq overcame these deficiencies by implementing a covert procurement
system. Iraq used this system to buy restricted items from foreign sources
through third party countries. These items were controlled by UNSCR
661 and 687, which put sanctions in place to prevent the export of certain
goods, particularly military equipment, to Iraq.
- Many of these procurement activities started in 1998 after the
UN inspectors were expelled from Iraq. (NOTE: For a complete
description of Iraq’s procurement process, refer to the “Procurement:
Illicit Finance and Revenue” section of the ISG report.)
From 1991 to 1996, Iraq began establishing contacts and making
limited purchases of controlled delivery system-related items. The initial
efforts were undertaken in an environment of massive civil engineering
work to rebuild Iraq’s war-damaged infrastructure and while the UN inspection
Regime was still an unknown quantity.In addition, strenuous efforts were
devoted to rebuilding Iraq’s armed forces to counter any threat from Iran.
ISG has uncovered documentary evidence and personal statements
suggesting that, despite UN restrictions, Iraq entered into discussions
with both Russian entities and North Korea for missile systems, though
there is no evidence to confirm that any deliveries took place.
- Sources and documents suggest that Iraq was actively seeking to obtain
the SS-26/Iskander missile from Russia.
- Document exploitation has revealed that Firas Tlas, the son of former
Syrian Defense Minister Lieutenant General Mustafa Tlas, visited Iraq
in July 2001 and discussed a variety of missile systems and components
that he could supply through Russia. Firas offered to sell Iraq the
S-300 SAM and the 270-km-range SS-26/Iskander-E short-range-ballistic
missile, or to provide assistance to help Iraq produce the Iskander.
Firas claimed that he had previously met with Izakoff, the former Defense
Minister of the Soviet Union, who told him that his [Izakoff’s] friend
owned documents for “TEMPS” missiles, called “Sterlite” in the West.
Reportedly, Izakoff said the missiles had a range of 1,500 km and were
very accurate. Tlas said Izakoff claimed that Mikhail Gorbachev destroyed
the missiles, but that Izakoff could supply the documents so that Iraq
could produce them. According to Firas, Izakoff said that Dimitrof (sic)
(a close friend of the President) presented the subject to Russian President
Putin, and President Putin agreed to provide assistance.
- Huwaysh claimed that Iraq had contacted both Syrian and Russian entities
to discuss Iraq acquiring the Iskander missile in 2002. Russia would
not export any military hardware without an end user certificate signed
by the issuing government agency, which is the capacity in which Syria
would have served.
NOTE: The TEMP-S is known in the West as the SS-12 Scaleboard and has
a range of 900 km. These were destroyed under the Intermediate Nuclear
Forces Treaty signed in the late 1980s.
- ISG recovered documents containing contract and money flow information
concerning illicit trade between Iraq and North Korea. These documents
show that, late in 1999, senior officials in Iraq, including ‘Abd Hamid
Mahmud Al Khatab Al Nasiri (the presidential secretary), the Director
of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) began to discuss establishing
trade with North Korea. In December 1999, Huwaysh formally invited a
North Korean delegation to visit Iraq. The Iraqis and North Koreans
decided that a face-to-face meeting would be held on or about 8 October
2000 in Baghdad. The North Korean Chang Kwang Technology Group was identified
as the technology supplier and the prime technical mediator for the
North Korean side. After an exchange of several communiqués, the representatives
from both countries agreed to a list of specific subjects that would
be discussed at the meetings, including technology transfer for SSMs
with a range of 1,300 km, coastal protection missiles with a range of
300 km, and the possibility of North Korean technical experts working
- A set of memoranda recovered by ISG shows that a high-level of dialogue
between Iraq and North Korea that occurred from December 1999 to September
2000 led to plans for a North Korean delegation to secretly visit Iraq
in October of 2000. Among the topics for discussion was the supply of
“technology for SSMs with a range of 1,300 km and Land-to-Sea Missiles
(LSMs) with a range of 300 km”. During the course of discussions with
Iraq, the North Korean side acknowledged the sensitivity of transferring
technologies for these missiles but indicated North Korea was prepared
“to cooperate with Iraq on the items it specified”. There is no
evidence, however, that the missiles were ever purchased.
To improve its delivery system capabilities, Iraq sought technical
experts from other countries to provide assistance. Much of the foreign
assistance for the Al Samud missile program came from experts in Russia,
but Iraq did receive assistance from other countries. According to some
sources, this assistance was often not sanctioned by the home countries
of the missile experts providing the aide.
- According to Huwaysh and an Iraqi computer specialist with direct
access to the information, in 1998 MIC entered into a contract with
a company called Babil to hire Russian missile experts as consultants.
Babil would hire the experts, who then traveled to Iraq and worked on
Iraqi missile programs, particularly the Al Samud. The initial value
of the contract was approximately $11 million. That September, the Babil
Company sent to Iraq missile experts from Russia who came from various
universities, research institutes, factories, and production organizations.
The experts were paid a cash salary of $2,000 each month they worked
- These individuals were in Baghdad for approximately three months starting
in September 1998 and worked at locations physically separated from
the actual production facilities. While there, they engaged in discussions
with the Iraqis and drew up plans related to missile development and
production. Upon returning to Russia, they continued to assist Iraq
and were visited in Russia by various Iraqis.
- Huwaysh claimed that experts from Russia provided assistance to Iraq’s
missile programs beginning in 1998. In October 1999, the Russian experts
provided technical reviews for the Al Samud program over a six-month
period. This review included evaluations of the entire missile production
system. These experts continued to provide assistance to the Al Samud
program even after the review by providing a package of design calculations
for liquid-propellant missiles and drawings for an inertial navigation
system (INS). Huwaysh said UNMOVIC inspectors did not detect the experts
from Russia during a site visit in 2002. Huwaysh speculated that if
the Russian government found out that the experts were working in Iraq,
they would probably have been punished, implying that the Russian government
had not sanctioned these activities.
- A former Iraqi rocket motor test engineer claimed that experts from
the FRY were involved in the development of the Al Fat’h missile system.
Their involvement included analyzing instruments on the rocket motor
test stand and providing an INS that was considered inadequate and of
- A former senior executive in MIC who had direct access to the information
admitted that, in 1999, Iraq signed a technical assistance contract
with a commercial cover company, that operated outside of Belarus. The
assistance included providing improvements to unidentified Iraqi missile
systems. The contract also stipulated that experts from Belarus would
maintain a semi-permanent presence in Iraq while the contract was in
effect. According to the source, the head of the Belarusian delegation
was an individual related to the office of the president of Belarus,
that suggests that the government of Belarus may have been aware of
Possible Connections to Terrorist/Insurgent Groups
ISG uncovered evidence of a possible connection between Al Quds
program director ‘Imad ‘Abd-al-Latif Al Rida’ and terrorist/insurgent
organizations. In December 2003 after Coalition forces captured Saddam
Husayn, a source who worked on Al Quds claimed that Dr. ‘Imad had told
him that four Al Quds UAVs were to be used as “flying bombs” to assassinate
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
- According to the source, four UAVs were to be given to a former
Hamas member named “Abu Radin” who was a friend of Saddam Husayn.
Abu Radin, who was no longer loyal to Hamas, would take the UAVs to
Jordan, install 5 kg of C4 explosive, and use them to attack Sharon
at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
- Although uncorroborated, this story is similar to the well-documented
Iraqi plan to use the Al Musayara-20 UAV as a “flying bomb.”
Additionally, a document obtained by ISG reveals that on 23 December
2000, Dr. ‘Imad signed a memorandum with the Air Force and senior members
of the Fedayeen Saddam agreeing to develop helicopter UAVs for the Fedayeen
Saddam. This memo stated that the project had been coordinated with
Huwaysh and the work would be a cooperative effort of MIC, the Air Force,
and Fedayeen Saddam.
- During initial testing, the UAV was difficult to control and
the test deemed a failure. As a result, all work was suspended on
the helicopter UAV project. The prototype was destroyed by cruise
missiles on the third day of OIF.
Huwaysh vehemently denied that he was aware of this effort, that
he had authorized Dr. ‘Imad to engage in it, or that it was an approved
Numerous source admissions and documents have surfaced, which show
some of Iraq’s efforts at acquiring guidance and control components for
its various missile systems. Because of its inability to successfully
indigenously produce such complete components, Iraq was heavily reliant
upon foreign suppliers to provide such items as accelerometers and gyroscopes.
- Two scientists in the Iraqi missile program provided information concerning
Iraq’s attempts to improve missile accuracy to ISG, both of whom had
direct access to the information. In 1999, Al Karamah signed three contracts
with companies from Russia for G&C technical assistance and equipment.
The contracts’ terms were as follows:
- The first contract was for approximately 25 inertial navigation
systems designed to input to the Al Samud guidance system. They were
a modernized version of the Scud guidance system and contained two
MG-4, dual-axis flexible gyroscopes, two AK-5 accelerometers, one
aligned on the yaw (lateral) axis to correct for the effects of wind
drift in the trajectory, and the other aligned along the axial (thrust)
axis to derive the cut-off velocity for thrust termination to control
the missile’s range. The contract also required delivery of approximately
five assembled and 20 unassembled pseudo-Inertial Measurement Units
(IMUs) in addition to some guidance test equipment.
- The second contract was for approximately 100 modern, strapped down
G&C systems that incorporated two, dual-axis flexible gyroscopes
and three orthogonally configured accelerometers, which were also
to have a digital output. The contract was amended to include an on-board
flight computer and control system. The G&C systems on this contract
were also designed to work in the Al Samud guidance units and were
smaller than the ones listed in the first contract. Other items specified
in the contract include individual parts such as: MG-4 gyros (approximately
30) and AK-5, A-15 and A-16 accelerometers (between 50 and 60). NOTE:
Approximately 10 AK-5 accelerometers were received in June 2000 and
another five to 10 in January 2001. The contract also included test
equipment; e.g., servo test units, a single axis rate table, a single
axis vibration tester, an environmental chamber, and a test unit for
an optical dividing head.
- The third contract was for the purchase of eight IMUs, with fiber-optic
gyroscopes, and four IMUs with ring laser gyroscopes. These systems
were destined for the Al Karamah and Al Milad companies and were intended
for use in the Al Samud and the Al Fat’h missile systems. Up to seven
of the guidance systems were delivered to the Al Karamah General Company
in the second half of 2002. All of the G&C systems and related
components were stored at the Al Quds Factory of the Al Karamah General
Company immediately before OIF. Although some examples of this hardware
were recovered, the Al Quds Factory itself has been completely looted
and no items remain.
Figures 27 and 28 depict some of the
many guidance items recovered by ISG; Figure
29 Shows an Actuator stepper motor.
- Recovered documents provide details of Iraqi contracts for SSM technical
assistance and missile-related hardware. According to these documents,
in 1999 the Al Basha’ir Trading Company of Iraq began a series of contracts
for G&C equipment, technology, training, and missile design training
with the Infinity DOO Company from the FRY. ISG has not been able
to confirm the delivery of the items specified in the contracts.
- A former high-ranking official in MIC recalled that, at the end of
2000, Iraq signed contracts with North Korea worth at least $9 million.
Iraq made a downpayment of $1.3 million. Some of the contracts specified
providing G&C systems, inertial navigation systems, and on-board
computers intended to improve the accuracy of SSMs having an operational
range of 150 km or less. Iraq also sought to purchase gyros and accelerometers
and asked if they could purchase existing SS-21 Tochka components. According
to the source, Iraqi missile personnel believed that Tochka components
would provide greater benefit to the solid-propellant Al Fat’h system
than the liquid-propellant Al Samud.
- ISG recovered contracts between North Korea and Iraq related to
guidance and control components. According to the contracts in late
in 2001, an eight-person delegation from North Korea visiting Iraq
reached agreements to sign six contracts to improve Iraq’s missile
system capabilities. One of the contracts was between the Al Karamah
General Company and the Hesong Trading Corporation, North Korea, for
the purchase of potentiometers (used in G&C systems), missile
alignment equipment (pre-launch), batteries, and test stands for servos
and jet vanes used on SSMs. Also, technical assistance was to be made
available if required by Iraq. The equipment was to be delivered via
Syrian ports within 9 months of contract initiation. ISG has
been unable to locate any of the delivered equipment.
- ISG gleaned the following information from acquired documents concerning
contract number six between Al Basha’ir Trading Company Ltd of Baghdad
and Infinity DOO of Belgrade, FRY. Contract
number six, apparently signed 19 January 2001, for a total cost of
$2,600,251, was for guidance and control testing equipment and training
courses. ISG has been unable to confirm that these items were
ever delivered. The test equipment was as follows:
- test stand designed for static testing of dynamically tuned gyros.
- test stand for solid state accelerometer static testing.
- an OMEGA-5 interference test stand for testing gyro rigidity and
- equipment for developing homing and proximity fuzes.
- software for research and development of all systems.
- hardware-in-the-loop simulation software.
- and SSM simulation software.
- The following are excerpts from documents received by ISG. The information
is related to contract number eight which is between Al Milad General
Company of Baghdad and Infinity DOO of Belgrade, FRY concerning guidance
and control equipment. ISG has been unable to confirm that these
items were ever delivered. Contract number eight, signed on
19 January 2001, for a total cost of $183,480, was for:
- the design of an on-board computer system capable of withstanding
20 G’s of acceleration and 40 G’s of shock.
- a two-week training course for customer experts.
- a complete set of design (calculations), technical and technological
documentation along with qualification
testing procedures for the computer.
- A former high-ranking official in MIC said that, in mid-2001, the
Technology Transfer Department of the IIS procured between 10 and 20
gyros and accelerometers from China for approximately $180,000. The
items were intended for the G&C system of the Al Samud missile.
The gyros were of the resonant type with a drift rate of ½ degree per
hour. The source indicated that the Iraqis were never able to use the
gyros and accelerometers because the packages were incomplete and therefore
- An Iraqi scientist with direct access to the information claimed that
entities in the FRY in 2002 offered to supply Al Milad with a navigation
system for the Iraqi Jinin program (a cruise missile based on the HY-2).
All requirements for the Jinin project were communicated to the foreign
- According to an Iraqi national with indirect knowledge of proscribed
equipment smuggling, Wi’am Gharbiyah, a Palestinian businessman, successfully
smuggled missile gyros into Iraq from Russia via Syria in 2002. Gharbiyah,
whose earlier attempt to illegally import gyros from Russia to Dr. Muzhir
of Al Karamah was foiled in Jordan due to detection by the UN in late
1995, used one of his contacts to propose to the Iraqi government to
sell approximately 400 components containing gyroscopes and accelerometers
in 2001. Using the IIS front company Al Karradah, the components were
successfully delivered to Al Karamah through Syria in July 2002. ISG
has not been able to confirm that this transaction occurred.
- ISG has uncovered evidence that Iraq had numerous contracts with Dr.
Degtaryev, a Russian missile guidance expert and the head of SystemTech.
ISG has been unable to confirm whether these contracts were fulfilled.
- Huwaysh claimed that Dr. Degtaryev was subcontracted through the
Belarusian firm Infobank to build 3 guidance sets for the Al Samud,
but these were detained during shipment through Jordan. Iraq then
placed an additional order for 3 guidance sets, that were successfully
delivered. Huwaysh stated that these sets were never used because
they were sent to a facility for replication but they were unable
to duplicate them by the time of OIF.
- A former Iraqi senior executive in MIC stated that the Al Karamah
General Company signed and executed several contracts with Dr. Degtaryev.
Through the ARMOS Company, Al Karamah signed contracts with Degtaryev.
He visited Iraq several times along with other experts and executed
several contracts with the Al Milad, Al Karamah, and Al Harith companies
valued at $20 million.
- According to documents ISG retrieved from the office of MIC, Iraq
signed contracts for missile guidance electronics with the firm SystemTech
run by Degtaryev. Although ISG has been able to recover some
of the delivered components, ISG has not confirmed that these contracts
were fully executed.
Iraq relied on foreign suppliers for production-related machinery
for use in its Al Samud programs. Iraq’s success at acquiring this machinery
probably affected the production rate of these missiles. Russian entities
were the main suppliers of machinery and tooling, though other suppliers
may have played a role.
- A high-level Iraqi official and an Iraqi scientist claimed that, beginning
in 1998, in addition to engineering and technical support, experts signed
contracts to supply many of the pieces of equipment for the Al Samud
program. This equipment included many of the production machines along
with related dies, moulds, and fixtures for the Al Samud program. Two
small automatic circumferential and longitudinal welding machines were
sent from Russia. The Russians also provided jigs and fixtures that
were made in Russia and then imported into Iraq.
- ISG learned through interviews with a former high-ranking official
in MIC that, in June 2001, Iraq signed a contract with a company from
Russia for machinery and equipment that was worth $10 million. The machinery
included a flow former, furnaces, and welding machines. The flow former
was tested in Russia and installed at the Al Samud site in Abu Ghurayb
but was not used before the war. The original contract length was 18
months; however, it was extended because the work specified in the contract
was incomplete. At the start of OIF, work on the engine fixtures for
Al Samud II was 60-70% complete, work on the airframe design was 50
percent complete, and work that would have contributed to the test and
assembly of new engines was 40 percent complete. These projects were
intended to help establish a proper production line for the Al Samud
II because the missiles produced before June 2001 were not of consistent
quality, which made them unreliable. The experts co-operated with the
Iraqis until OIF. ISG has no evidence that the government of Russia
sanctioned or approved these contracts.
- A former high-ranking official in Iraq’s ballistic missile program
stated that, in 1999, Al Karamah signed a contract worth $1.6 million
with a Russian company for Al Samud airframe production, assembly, and
testing. According to the contract, the payments would be tied to item
deliveries. The first payment of $100,000 would be paid after receiving
the design drawings. The contract was modified in 2001 when the Al Samud
missile diameter increased to 760 mm. By 2003 only 65% of the design
drawings were received.
ISG judges that Iraq received at least 380 SA-2/Volga liquid-propellant
engines from Poland and possibly Russia or Belarus. Source claims corroborated
by contract information support this judgment. This figure is also consistent
with what Iraq declared to the UN.
- According to a high-level official in Iraq’s missile program, Iraq
received 280 SA-2 engines, some of which were secondhand and some damaged,
from Poland through a company known as Evax. A majority of these engines
reportedly arrived in 2002. Additionally, the source speculated that
Iraq had possibly imported 100 SA-2 engines from Russia through an Iraqi
company known as Al Rawa’a.
- A letter dated 2 July 2001 signed by Dr. Hadi Taresh Zabun, the head
of MIC’s procurement department, indicated that MIC had received approval
to enter into contract with Evax for an additional 96 SA-2 engines under
the same terms and prices as their earlier contract for 38 engines.
Another document referenced a subsequent contract for Iraq to receive
the remainder of the 200 engines they had ordered, 96 of which they
had already received. This was followed by a letter dated 11 April 2002
from the Polish company Evax to the Deputy Minister of Military Industrialization,
which states that a third shipment has arrived at the port of Tartus
and is on its way to Baghdad (the Al Karamah General Company), comprising
32 Volga rocket engines and 750 pieces (pressure valve, air valve, servo,
and miscellaneous other materials). The letter also states that a shipment
of 104 samples is delayed in Poland awaiting the required inspection
before they can be exported (comment: this may refer to the rest of
the 200 engines in the contract).
- A source with indirect access to information claimed that, in December
2002, Iraq successfully procured either from Belarus or Russia, approximately
100 Volga engines and 380 missile thermal batteries. They then imported
these items via Sudan and Syria by using a front company called Al Rawa’a.
ISG has no evidence that these East Europeans countries either
sanctioned or approved these transactions.
Officials within Iraq’s missile programs have disclosed information
about Iraq’s pursuit of carbon fiber technology for use in its solid rocket
motor programs. Companies from Russia were Iraq’s main targets for the
acquisition of this technology.
- A former senior-level official in Iraq’s missile program provided
information about Iraq’s attempts to obtain carbon fiber technology
that is used for solid rocket motors such as the Al Fat’h. MIC began
pursuing carbon fiber technology from Russia in the last quarter of
2002; this effort ran in parallel with work being accomplished by the
Military Engineering College under contract to the Al Rashid General
Company. Iraq’s Military Engineering College and the Al Rashid General
Company were responsible for Iraq’s indigenous carbon fiber production
efforts. Al Rashid was responsible for the solid-propellant motor case
and the Iraqi Military Engineering College was responsible for the carbon
fiber production lines. The contract, which included one carbon fiber
filament winding machine, one mandrel manufacturing machine, one mandrel
extraction machine, one high-powered cleaning machine used to remove
the gypsum from the mandrel, and one curing furnace was not completed
by the required date and an extension was granted. By the start of OIF,
the majority of the components were finished.
- A former high-level official in MIC claimed that during the first
quarter of 2003, an unidentified Russian company contacted the ARMOS
Company to facilitate a visit by Iraqi researchers to the Russian carbon
fiber production lines and have the experts from Russia provide technical
assistance. MIC created a delegation, authorized by Huwaysh, to travel
to Russia to speak with the technicians and visit the lines. The Iraqi
delegation was canceled due to the start of OIF.
Iraq’s inability to successfully produce all the chemicals necessary
for propellants for its missile systems forced Iraq to acquire these chemicals
from foreign entities. Iraq attempted to use a front company to mask these
activities from international attention. ISG discovered numerous
occasions in which Iraq attempted to acquire chemicals for use in their
liquid-propellant missile program. ISG has not been able to confirm
that contracts were ever agreed to for all these chemicals or if any agreed
contracts were ever fulfilled.
- Documents ISG recovered from the Baghdad offices of the Arabic Scientific
Bureau (ASB) and Inaya Trading company describe solicited quotes from
Chinese and Indian companies (including the Inaya Trading Company) for
chemicals and materials used with liquid-propellant missiles. Some of
the chemicals in which the ASB was interested were: Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine
(UDMH), Diethylenetriamine (DETA), Hydrazine, Hydrogen Peroxide, Xylidene,
and Triethylamine. These chemicals are common fuels and oxidizers used
in liquid-propellant engines. The documents do not, however, indicate
whether any contracts were signed or material delivered, and, since
the dates reported are late 2002, purchase of the chemicals may have
been stopped by OIF.
- ISG has learned that in 2002 proposals were placed before MIC by the
Al Anas Trading Agency Co., Ltd., through Dr. Nazar ‘Abd-al-‘Amir Hamudi,
for amounts totaling hundreds of tons of many different liquid propellants,
their constituents or pre-cursor chemicals. The information states not
only was Iraq actively looking for stocks of propellants that were currently
in widespread use but also that they were seeking tens of tons of more
advanced, higher energy liquid propellants. ISG believes that,
due to the start of OIF, these chemicals were never delivered.
- A former executive in MIC told ISG that Iraq had wanted to purchase
or produce AZ-11 liquid propellant because it is a more energetic fuel
and produces greater thrust. Therefore, the Iraqis made several attempts
to acquire AZ-11 fuel from the Ukraine but they were never successful.
Iraq also undertook efforts to improve its solid-propellant program by
importing chemicals needed in the production of solid-propellants. Though
ISG has not been able to confirm that contracts were ever agreed to for
all these chemicals or if all of the contracts were ever fulfilled, ISG
did discover large amounts of imported aluminum powder during a site visit
to Al Amin Factory, part of the Al Rashid General Company.
- Some 60 tons of imported aluminum powder, suitable for use in solid-propellant
rocket motors, was discovered during an ISG site exploitation inspection
of Al Amin Factory. At the then current rate of demand, this would
have satisfied the requirement for hundreds of motors. Considerable
quantities of other propellant materials had also been imported and
were potentially available for use.
- A former high-ranking official in the Iraqi missile program who had
direct access to the information claimed that Iraq purchased chemicals
used in solid-propellant rocket motors. The official reported that,
in 1999, the Al Rashid General Company purportedly placed orders for
raw materials that are used in the production of solid-propellants for
missiles. Among the orders was a purchase made from the Al ‘Ayan Company,
owned by Jabir Al Dulaymi, for six tons of ammonium perchlorate (AP)
and six tons of aluminum powder. The Al ‘Ayan Company purchased these
items from a French company for Al Rashid. ISG has no evidence
that the French government either sanctioned or approved this transaction.
- A few officials have provided information about Iraq’s dealings with
the Indian firm NEC for chemicals for solid-propellants. ISG has
no confirmation that the government of India either sanctioned or approved
these activities, and Indian authorities arrested NEC’s director, Hans
Raj Shiv, in 2003 for his illicit activities.
- According to Huwaysh, former Director of MIC, he had many business
dealings with the Indian firm NEC. Huwaysh says that as late as April
2003, Hans Raj Shiv, the director of NEC, was working in NEC’s Baghdad
office. Examples of the Iraqi-NEC business relationship are: NEC supplied
the Al Qa’qa’a General Company with a nitric acid production capability
used in the production of explosives. Between 1999 and 2002, Iraq
purchased from NEC at least 10 cells that were used to process sodium
chloride, probably related AP production.
- ISG has learned from an Iraqi scientist with direct access to the
information that, from 1999 to April 2003, Iraq procured from NEC
Engineers Private, Ltd., the design and construction of AP processing
facilities. AP is a major constituent of solid-propellants. The procurement
included machine equipment, tools, and direct engineering assistance.
This contractual relationship resulted in the construction of two
AP production facilities. The Iraqis did most of the work on the first
facility but NEC provided technical assistance, the electrolytic cells,
and the centrifuges. This facility had an output capacity of 50 tons
per year (NFI). The second AP facility, with a capacity of 180 tons
per year, required much more involvement by NEC who provided the equipment,
production technology, and engineering support. The Iraqi Al Faw Company
was involved with the physical construction of this facility. ISG
judges that these two facilities, if run at full capacity, would have
produced sufficient oxidizer a year to manufacture 300 tons of propellant
– more than sufficient to support Iraq’s declared solid-propellant
programs and enough to facilitate work on motors for new missiles.
- According to a former high-ranking official in the Iraqi missile program,
the Al Rashid General Company purchased raw materials for solid-propellant
motors beginning in 1999. Among the items were:
- 356 tons of AP. Six tons of AP from the Al Rayan Company,
which was purchased from France; an additional 350 tons purchased
from the following entities: NEC, which purchased the AP from an unnamed
source; Al Sharqiyah, which purchased the AP from an unnamed purchased
the AP from China; and Al Maghrib, which purchased the AP from France;
- 126 tons of aluminum powder. An initial order of six tons
of aluminum powder from an unidentified source; an additional 120
tons purchased from NEC and three Iraqi companies (Al Sharqiyah, Al
Maghrib, and Al ‘Ayan) who purchased it from France;
- 104 tons of HTPB. An initial order of four tons of hydroxyl
terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), a binder, purchased from the Al Taqaddum
Company, which purchased it from an Italian company; and an additional
100 tons of HTPB from NEC, which purchased it from a United States
- 2 tons of methyl aziridinyl phosphine oxide (MAPO) from NEC,
which purchased it from China;
- 60 tons of dioctyl azelate (DOZ) from Al Sharqiyah, which
purchased it from a Japanese firm.
Infrastructure Improvements and Technology Developments
The steady improvement in Iraqi missile infrastructure seen during
the Regime’s “Decline” phase was accelerated after 1996 in the: “Recovery”
and “Transition” periods. Iraq expended great efforts reconstituting
destroyed or unusable equipment in order to restore required production
and deployment capabilities for the Al Samud II and Al Fat’h. These capabilities
could have been used to develop and produce missiles with ranges longer
than allowed under UNSCR 687. No restraints were applied to achieving
this objective, including clear breaches of international treaties and
the use of foreign expertise and assistance.
Static Test-Firing Facilities
ISG judges that Iraq’s existing static test facilities for liquid
rocket engines and solid rocket motors were in no physical condition to
continue to support development and testing of Iraq’s liquid-propellant
- Iraq’s existing liquid-propellant engine test stand at Al Rafah was
designed to handle a single Scud-class engine of 13.5 tons of thrust,
but, due to more than a decade and a half of usage, age, and bombing,
was probably not capable for Iraq’s needs. According to one Iraqi engineer,
construction on a new test stand began by August 2001, and it was sized
to handle an engine larger than the SA-2-class or Scud-class engine.
However, while physically able to accept a larger engine, the facility
was not capable of withstanding the thrust that such a large engine
would normally be expected to produce. The engineer suggested the test
stand could have been used to test clustered SA-2 engines. The facility
was not commissioned by the time of OIF. ISG assesses the new
stand with modifications was suitable for clustered engines.
- Although various static test-firing facilities for solid-propellant
motors existed at the Al Qa’qa’a General Company (Nu’man site), these
were of smaller capacity in terms of both explosive and thrust rating
than those at Al Mutassim (Yawm Al Azim). At Al Mutassim, the largest
of 5 test cells had been upgraded to allow thrust levels of 50 tons
to be safely tested.
Solid-Propellant Rocket Motor Case Manufacture
At Al Amin, an aging oven originally installed for the first stage of
the proscribed BADR-2000 ballistic missile, which was “destroyed” by UNSCOM,
was repaired. Iraq constructed a much larger annealing furnace, and an
existing annealing furnace at a nearby Saddam General Company (now known
as Al Ikha’ Company) was used in the manufacturing process for the Al
Fat’h motor.This annealing capacity greatly exceeded the requirements
of the Al Fat’h and Al ‘Ubur missile systems and provided Iraq with the
ability to create motor casings greater than 1 meter in diameter and 6.5
meters in length, consistent with the plans now revealed for a larger,
longer range missile.
- During a site exploitation visit to Al Amin, ISG investigated the
BADR-2000 aging oven that had been ‘destroyed’ by the UN and had been
recomissioned for use in the production process for the Al Fat’h motor.
To do this effectively, a cylindrical sleeve was inserted into the furnace
to enable a better match with the 500-mm-diameter motor case. The
aging oven was incapable of annealing 30CrMoV9 material of the Al Fat’h
- Iraq built a new furnace that was capable of heat-treating a motor
case about 1.25 meters in diameter with a length in excess of 6.5 meters.
This furnace contained a fixture that could hold a motor case 1-meter
in diameter. ISG could not determine if this furnace had been
used or even commissioned.
- Large annealing furnaces at an existing facility of the Saddam General
Company were used to anneal solid-propellant rocket motor cases for
the Al Fat’h missile.
Iraq attempted to increase its solid-propellant production capability
by repairing the prohibited 300-gallon mixers declared “destroyed” by
- While accounts differ, Iraq was reportedly able to repair at least
one of the two 300-gallon mixers and two mixing bowls. Reports indicate
that either one mixer was repaired to increase the existing mixing capability,
or that both mixers were brought on line to support the requirement
for a larger motor for the long-range missile program.
- A cooperative source stated that the Iraqis immediately prior to the
entry of UNMOVIC inspectors destroyed the 300-gallon mixers. Despite
extensive searches, that included active source participation, ISG has
not found physical evidence of mixers, parts, or debris.
Solid-Propellant Motor Casting Chambers
The capability to cast large solid-propellant rocket motors increased
with the repair of two previously destroyed (and prohibited) casting chambers
and the construction of an even larger chamber.
- A new, even larger casting chamber, approximately 1.56 meters external
diameter by 6 meters deep, had been built for possible use in the production
of a motorcase up to 1.25 meters in diameter. Because the chamber was
built by Iraq and had not been used to produce proscribed items, UNMOVIC
chose only to monitor the facility.
Production of Solid-Propellant Ingredients
Ammonium perchlorate (AP) constitutes the greatest mass of composite
solid-propellant, and its availability was crucial to the future of all
of Iraq’s major solid-propellant missile programs.Planned production
of propellant constituents would have enabled the production of motor
quantities larger than known program requirements.
- Iraq obtained assistance in the expansion of its AP production capabilities
from NEC Engineers Pvt Ltd., an Indian Company, according to multiple
sources. This facility was located at the former nuclear plant at Al
Athir and was designed to produce 180 ton per year. However, this plant
was not fully operational prior to OIF and produced only a limited quantity
- According to a high-ranking official in the Iraqi missile program,
Iraqi universities attempted to revive the Hydroxyl Terminated Poly
Butadiene (HTPB), a solid-propellant binder, plant at Al Ma’mun. This
plant, purchased from Egypt in 1987, was supposed to supplement existing
stockpiles. The source claimed that, although the plant had the necessary
equipment, it never had the technology to use the equipment in HTPB
production. If Iraq had been able to bring this facility on line,
they would have reduced if not eliminated reliance on imported HTPB.
- Some 60 tons of imported aluminum powder, suitable for use in solid-propellant
rocket motors, was discovered during an ISG site exploitation inspection
of Al Amin. At the current rate of demand, this would have satisfied
the requirement for hundreds of motors. Considerable quantities
of other propellant materials had also been imported and were potentially
available for use.
Iraq was undertaking a planned, long-term research program into
solid and liquid propellants, in order to be self-sufficient in propellant-related
chemicals denied to them by UN sanctions and to create higher energy propellants,
which could enhance the performance of existing and future ballistic missile
- In 2001, Iraq began an extensive program researching higher energy
composite solid-propellant ingredients including nitronium perchlorate
(NP), nitro-hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), azido-HTPB, and
ammonium dinitramide (ADN). The research was conducted in Basrah University
and the Ibn Sina’ Company. Only a few grams of each were manufactured
and possibly delivered to Al Rashid, but no serious production efforts
were undertaken. ISG has found no evidence that research into
NP, nitro-HTPB, or azido-HTPB was ever declared to the UN.
ISG judges that Iraq was unlikely to develop missiles in the
near term using any of these higher energy solid-propellant ingredients.
- Starting in the late 1990s, Iraq also conducted research, testing,
and limited production of higher energy liquid propellants such as unsymmetrical
dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH), AZ-11, AK-40, and 95%-99% pure hydrogen peroxide.
This research and pilot production was conducted at several facilities
including Ibn Sina’ Company, Mosul University, Al Kindi General Company,
and Al Raya’ Company. From all available evidence, ISG believes
that Iraq was not able to manufacture large quantities of these propellants.
- Starting in the late 1990s, Iraq also began research into production
of propellants for its missile forces. These attempts at pilot production
included xylidene, triethyl amine (TEA), nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4),
and inhibited red-fuming nitric acid (IRFNA). While Iraq was somewhat
successful at regenerating or producing some AK-20 (mixture of 80% nitric
acid and 20% N2O4) and TG-02 (50-50 mixture of xylidene and TEA), they
were unsuccessful at producing large quantities of these propellants
or any new propellants. Iraq was reportedly successful in acquiring
quantities of these chemicals from abroad for use in propellant production.
Through its efforts to reverse-engineer SCUD missile designs before
1991, Iraq gained an understanding and ability to produce graphite nose
tips that would satisfy the technical requirements of warheads that could
be used on systems from short to very long ranges.
Graphite is used in ballistic missiles in areas that suffer high thermal
and erosive stresses such as nose cone tips, solid-propellant nozzle throat
inserts, and thrust vector control vanes.
- According to a high-ranking official in Iraq’s missile program, the
nose of the warheads for the Al Samud and Al Fat’h missiles were graphite
and based on the warhead design for the Scud missile. ISG retrieved
three Al Samud II graphite-tipped nose cones during site exploitations.
- A former military officer and engineer claimed that the graphite of
the jet control vanes for the Al Samud proved capable of withstanding
the intense heat and erosion during a vertical static test of the engine.
The procurement of graphite for the Iraqi ballistic missile program is
well documented. The Arab Scientific Bureau, which was a front company
seeking aerospace parts and chemicals for Iraqi state companies, tendered
offers for graphite blocks. The Al Rashid General Company ordered 7.5
tons of graphite for 2003 and 2004, according to a contract document,
and, during a site exploitation of the Al Amin Factory, ISG discovered
two large wooden boxes containing two to three tons of graphite blocks.
Carbon Fiber Filament Winding
Starting in 2001, Iraq began a program to develop carbon fiber
filament winding capabilities for use in weapons-related applications.
This initiative only proceeded as far as the production of plain cylinders.
- According to several officials in the Iraqi missile program, Iraqi
interest in carbon fiber technology was aroused inthe 1980s when an
Iraqi team including Husayn Kamil went to Brazil and paid approximately
$80 million for the technical specifications and training for the ASTROS-II
carbon fiber filament winding technology.
- A recovered memo dated 19 January 2001 documents a request by the
Iraqi Al Basha’ir Trading Company to the FRY Company, Infinity DOO,
for a filament winding production line with technology transfer.
- An Iraqi engineer stated that, in 2001, the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission
(IAEC) possessed an incomplete carbon fiber filament-winding machine
that had not been used since 1990. The machine was moved from the Al
Athir complex to the Military Technology College (MTC) in 2001 where
it was to be repaired and then copied.
- By mid-2001, Huwaysh approved a missile-related carbon fiber winding
production program and selected the 500-mm Al Fat’h solid-propellant
motor case, nozzle, and end dome as the candidate for the carbon fiber
filament winding initiative.
- During a meeting in February 2002, Huwaysh initiated an effort to
seek foreign assistance in carbon fiber composite production, using
the ARMOS Company.
- A high-ranking official in the Iraqi missile program recalled that,
by the summer of 2002, a contract was awarded to the MTC to develop
fiber winding machines with the ability of winding objects one meter
in diameter and seven meters long, and the mandrel capacity was to support
a 500-mm diameter 4 to 4½ meters in length. By the start of OIF the
contract was still not complete.
- A former MIC official claimed that concurrent to the MTC filament
winding machine contract, MIC pursued assistance from Russian entities
in carbon fiber technology. In September or October 2002, a Russian
expert reportedly visited MIC and agreed to a reciprocal visit in Russia
on carbon fiber technology. A trip was planned for Iraqi researchers
to visit Russian carbon fiber production lines and receive technical
assistance. The trip did not take place due to OIF.
- MIC also examined importing carbon fiber raw materials from Europe
while at the same time tasking a postgraduate student at Babylon University
to research making carbon fiber raw materials from petroleum.
The properties of carbon fiber could provide a 30-40% weight savings
over components made from steel. As an example, the Al Fat’h steel motor
case, nozzle and end dome make up approximately 200 kg of the 1,050 kg
total mass of the motor. A carbon fiber design could save approximately
60-80 kg of weight from the roughly 1,050 kg total weight. This savings
could be applied to additional warhead capacity or towards increasing
Ceramic Warhead Effort?
ISG has no credible evidence that Iraq was pursuing ceramic warheads
for use as CBW warheads. Ceramic’s poor heat-resistant properties negate
its use with conventional, chemical, and biological warheads. While
ceramic warheads may retain dimensional stability during aerodynamic heating,
they also transfer this heat directly to the payload. Therefore, extremely
elaborate techniques would be required to cool any CBW warhead and would,
at least, require thermal insulation for conventional warheads. One source
assessed by the collector as likely being motivated by financial incentives
claimed that Iraqi scientists were working on developing ceramic warheads
designed for filling with chemical agents and mounting on missiles within
a few hours. The source added that the Badr General Company made “a few”
of these warheads. There is no evidence to support these claims,
and ISG judges that the source’s statements are not credible.
- While ceramic materials are heat resistant and relatively inert to
most chemicals, working with this material is complicated. The US and
the UK investigated using ceramic warheads for ballistic missiles in
the 1970s, but these investigations were not pursued.
- A ceramic warhead would have better in-flight dimensional stability
during re-entry compared to ablative warheads. Dimensional stability
during flight directly relates to aerodynamic stability and increased
accuracy. However, increased costs associated with manufacturing and
handling ceramic warheads outweigh the benefits.
- Producing consistent ceramic formulations is still an art, and machining
ceramic materials to a desired shape on a consistent basis is notoriously
difficult. Ceramic warheads must also be handled with care, which necessitates
entirely new procedures for use and training.
ISG recovered ceramic nose cone pieces which were not sufficient to form
a complete nose cone. However, initial examination of these ceramic pieces
shows a right cone at the tip followed by a transition to an ogive shape,
which is similar to a SA-6 nose cone. These may have been subscale
models or may be totally unrelated to ballistic missiles.
ISG has substantial documentary evidence and source reporting indicating
that the Regime intentionally violated various international resolutions
and agreements in order to pursue its delivery systems programs. Sources
with direct access have described missile projects with design ranges
well beyond UN limits and ISG has research documents to corroborate these
claims. Additionally, ISG has exploited documents that confirm Iraq circumvented
UN sanctions by illicitly importing components for use in its missile
Violations of United Nations Sanctions and Resolutions
ISG has uncovered numerous examples of Iraq’s disregard for UN
sanctions and resolutions in an effort to improve its missile and UAV
capabilities. These violations repeatedly breached UNSCR 687, 707, 715,
1051, 1284, 1441 and pursuant annexes and enabled Iraq to develop more
robust delivery system programs.
Multiple sources have highlighted Iraq’s efforts to reconstitute
equipment associated with past missile programs previously disabled or
declared destroyed by UNSCOM. Accounts for the actual use of these restored
items vary. ISG has been able to confirm the existence of some of this
equipment, but not all of it.
Several sources with direct access have provided information about the
successful repair of one of the 300-gallon solid-propellant mixers associated
with the BADR-2000 missile project that were destroyed by UNSCOM in 1992
at Al Ma’mun. ISG has conducted site exploitation visits to the last reported
locations of these mixers but has been unable to locate them.
- According to two high-level officials within the Iraqi missile program,
one of the two 300-gallon mixers destroyed by the UN was repaired in
2002, but the other could not be repaired. The officials did not elaborate
on what the mixer was used for.
- Husam Muhammad Amin Al Yasin, the former director of the NMD, stated
that Huwaysh ordered the repair of the mixers around 2001 but later
stated this order came in 2002. Amin claimed that the Iraqis used the
one repaired mixer for about two months. Amin then convinced Huwaysh
to allow him to destroy the mixer because it was a violation of UNSCR
687. According to Amin, this information was not disclosed to UNMOVIC.
- According to Huwaysh, in 2002 ‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’ Al Ta’i of
the Al Rashid General Company was given permission to repair one of
the two 300-gallon solid-propellant mixers. One of the mixers had been
completely destroyed so ‘Abd-al-Baqi restored the partially destroyed
A few sources have disclosed information about Iraq’s efforts to rebuild
the BADR-2000 aging oven, which was declared, destroyed by UNSCOM. An
ISG site exploitation mission has confirmed these claims.
- An Iraqi scientist claimed that Iraq had rebuilt the aging oven associated
with the BADR-2000 program at the Al Amin factory. He added that, since
the maximum temperature in the furnace could not reach the required
temperature of 1,000 degrees, the Iraqis built an even bigger furnace.
- An ISG site exploitation visit to Al Amin confirmed this claim, and
ISG was able to inspect the restored BADR-2000 aging oven and a larger,
built-in annealing furnace. ISG judges that both furnaces could
be used in the production of motor cases with diameters larger than
one meter, which is beyond the requirements for any rocket or missile
permitted by the UN.
In addition to the mixer and aging oven, ISG has identified two other
areas where Iraq rebuilt or reused equipment that had been disabled, destroyed,
- According to a “certificate of machine repair” recovered by ISG, one
of the three flow-forming machines at Al Karamah that had been destroyed
by UNSCOM was rebuilt by February 2001. The document was signed by several
department heads within the Al Samud program and included a statement
that the machine’s intended use was for the production of Al Samud rocket
engine covers. ISG has been unable to locate this piece of equipment.
- Coalition forces recovered a letter from ‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’,
the director of the Al Rashid General Company, requesting a piece of
steel one meter in diameter from a canceled project. The steel was a
part of the Gerald Bull Supergun project, which Iraq was forced to terminate
in order to comply with UNSCR 687. The letter from ‘Abd-al-Baqi was
in reference to the large diameter motor project. Iraq attempted to
use a barrel-section from the Supergun Project to create a prototype
1 meter diameter motor case but the effort failed because of material
incompatibilities. Iraqi technicians were unable to weld the motor end
domes to the Supergun barrel.
Iraq’s restoration of prohibited equipment associated with past
missile programs directly violated UN restrictions on Iraq’s missile programs.
Iraq chose to deliberately ignore these restrictions to improve its missile
Several former high-level Regime officials and scientists directly affiliated
with Iraq’s military industries have indicated that Iraq intentionally
withheld information from the UN regarding its delivery systems programs,
to include research into delivery systems with design ranges well in excess
of 150 km.
- According to one former high-ranking government official, Huwaysh
restricted the NMD’s access to MIC when the NMD was preparing the 2002
CAFCD. As a result, some MIC work was omitted, which violated UNSCR
- Several sources have admitted their direct involvement in the destruction
of documents related to delivery systems programs to prevent divulging
them to the UN.
This pattern of activity occurred at all levels and indicates a widespread
effort to protect certain activities and to deceive the international
community. According to numerous sources, Iraq worked on several delivery
system projects that were never declared to the UN, violating UNSCR 1441.
Some of these projects were designed to achieve ranges beyond 150 km and
if developed would have violated UNSCR 687 and 715. Many missile specialists
directly involved in these projects have admitted to destroying documents
related to these programs to prevent the UN from discovering them, which
violates UNSCR 707.
- Through a series of interviews with former MIC and NMD officials,
ISG has discovered that Iraq since 1991 did not disclose the IRFNA production
capability at Al Qa’qa’a to the UN. One NMD official claimed
that Husayn Kamil had passed an order not to declare this capability
to the UN and this order was observed even after Husayn Kamil’s death.
Other officials claim that Iraq decided to withhold the IRFNA production
capability of Al Qa’qa’a for fear that the UN would destroy the plant,
virtually closing Iraq’s extensive munitions industries.
- Former high-ranking MIC officials and scientists in the Iraqi missile
program claim that, between 2000 and 2002, Huwaysh ordered Dr. Muzhir
of Al Karamah to design a long-range liquid-propellant missile (see
the Long-Range Missile chapter for more information). Huwaysh retained
all the hardcopy evidence of this project and later destroyed it to
prevent detection by the UN, although ISG has been able to uncover some
design drawings for two long-range missile projects—the two- and five-engine
clustered engine designs.
- An engineer associated with the Iraqi missile program claimed that,
in early 2001, Huwaysh directed ‘Abd-al-Baqi Rashid Shia’ of the Al
Rashid General Company to pursue a long-range solid-propellant missile.
The engineer also provided a diagram for a launcher for a long-range
solid-propellant missile, that Al Fida’ engineers had been working on.
The engineer claimed that research into this missile project ceased
upon the arrival of UNMOVIC in late 2002 (see the Long-Range Missile
chapter for more information).
- Much of Iraq’s work on SA-2 conversion projects was never disclosed
to the UN, according to officials associated with these projects. MIC
officials decided to withhold all information from the UN about the
Sa’d project, headed by Al Kindi, in part because it had not yet reached
the prototype stage. Ra’ad Isma’il Jamil Al Adhami’s SA-2 conversion
efforts were not declared to the UN although the flight tests were manipulated
so that the missiles would not exceed 150 km.
- Iraq withheld information about its efforts to extend the range of
its HY-2 cruise missiles. Two individuals within MIC claimed that the
1,000 km Jinin cruise missile project ceased at the end of 2002 before
the resumption of UNMOVIC inspections. One source said that the airframes
were transferred from Al Karamah where the modifications were being
made to a storage warehouse before UNMOVIC arrived for fear of the project
being discovered. Iraq’s attempts to extend the range of the HY-2 anti-ship
cruise missile to beyond 150 km in a land-attack role were not declared
to the UN (see Cruise Missile chapter for more information).
- A few sources have admitted that at least one Iraqi UAV flew beyond
150 km, and Huwaysh claimed that Iraq had tested UAVs to a range of
only 100 km but that the range could easily be increased to 500 km by
adding a larger fuel tank. Huwaysh also suggested that the L-29 program
was a 100% replacement for the MiG-21 RPV program, implying—but never
directly saying—that the mission of the L-29 was to deliver CBW. ISG
has no other evidence to support this statement (see the UAV
section for more information).
- A high-level official within the Iraqi missile program claimed
that, in an effort to make Iraq’s missile infrastructure less dependent
upon foreign suppliers, MIC directed university projects to research
ingredients used in solid and liquid propellants. Because
of the sensitivity of this research, Iraq never disclosed these efforts
to the UN. Former university students and individuals associated
with the missile program alleged that this undisclosed research occurred
at universities in Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra. Researchers claim their
attempts to produce such materials, as Hydroxy Terminated Poly Butadiene
(HTPB), Nitronium Perchlorate (NP), Nitroglycerine, and Hydrogen Peroxide
at high concentration levels were unsuccessful.
ISG has exploited dozens of contracts that confirm the requests,
orders, and deliveries of UN-restricted components and equipment involving
facilities associated with Iraq’s missile and UAV programs. Iraq’s use
of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, front companies, and false end user
certificates indicate Iraq knew these activities violated international
sanctions. Iraq also negotiated with other countries for complete missile
systems, but there is no evidence any shipments were ever made (see
the Procurement chapter for more information).
Graphite is well known for its property of withstanding high temperatures
and thermal shock, especially in nonoxidizing environments.
For missile applications, the denser it is, the more useful it is
as a temperature-resistant material. Graphite densities below about
1,600 kg/m3 (1.6 g/cc) are only useful for nonnuclear or nonrocket application.
Densities above 1,700 kg/m3 are useful for missiles and above 1,800
kg/m3 for nuclear applications. Uses of high-density graphite include:
- High-temperature crucibles.
- Anodes for electric steelmaking.
- Nuclear applications (graphite is a moderator).
- Missile and propulsion application.
Missile applications include the nose tip, jet vanes, and nozzle
throat inserts. High-density graphite is used in nose tips because it
is temperature resistant and can withstand high dynamic pressure and
thermal effects better than lower density graphite. High-density graphite
can be used as a liner for the extreme thermal and erosive environment
experienced in the throats of solid-propellant motor nozzles where the
high temperature environment is made worse by the presence of alumina
particles (from propellant combustion) in the exhaust. Graphite inserts
are not commonly used in liquid-propellant engines.
High-density graphite is also used in thrust vector control vanes,
where aerodynamic surfaces are used to deflect the exhaust gas flow
path, thus changing the direction of thrust. Although this method incurs
drag losses, it is effective in providing a control mechanism for missiles.
- Former high-level officials admit MIC procured ballistic missile engineering
assistance, gyroscopes, SA-2/Volga missile engines, and SA-2 batteries
from companies in Eastern Europe. ISG has recovered contracts and other
documents to corroborate these admissions.
- Huwaysh admitted that Iraq had imported hundreds of SA-2/Volga liquid-propellant
engines from companies in Poland—activities that were disclosed to
UNMOVIC. ISG has exploited several official documents containing the
contractual details (e.g., serial numbers of these engines).
- Former high-level MIC officials disclosed that Iraq received missile
components such as gyroscopes and accelerometers from China.
- Huwaysh and an Iraqi scientist both asserted that Iraq received assistance
and materials for missile propellants from Indian firms, particularly
- Several documents have been recovered that include information about
Iraqi negotiations with North Korea for missile materials and long-range
missile systems, probably including the 1,300-km-range No Dong. There
is no evidence to confirm the delivery of any ballistic missile systems.
- Statements from former high-level Regime officials and documentation
indicate Russian entities provided assistance to Iraq’s missile programs.
Russian entities exported numerous key pieces of equipment to Iraq through
illegal channels and also supplied technical experts. Iraq also negotiated
for complete Iskander-E missiles systems, although no missiles were
ever purchased or delivered, according to Huwaysh.
- Captured documents show Iraq’s reliance on FRY assistance to develop
a domestic G&C design, manufacture, calibration, and test capability.
Iraq also imported guidance instruments from FRY.
- Former high-level MIC officials provided information about Iraq’s
procurement efforts through Ukraine. Iraq received missile and UAV components
as well as technical assistance from the Ukraine.
Benefits of Carbon Fiber Filament Winding in Missile Construction
Carbon Fiber Filament Winding is ideal for missile construction
because of the superior material properties of carbon fiber and the
repeatability and consistency of the filament winding process.
Carbon fiber materials have superior material properties to glass
fiber, aluminum, and steel in the areas of specific strength, specific
stiffness, and relative density. Carbon fiber composites are five times
stronger and five times lighter than 1020 steel with a specific strength
(a combined measure of both strength and density) 13 times that of aluminum
and 1.4 times that of glass fiber composites. The chart at the end of
this section highlights the superior carbon fiber material properties.
The Iraqi missile and UAV programs benefited from Iraq’s defiance
of UN sanctions because they were able to obtain material and technical
expertise they otherwise could not have developed. Several sources and
documentary evidence confirm that Iraq participated in such activities.
The measures taken to conceal these activities from the UN are evidence
that Iraq was well aware these activities were illegal.
Role of the MTCR
Although Iraq is not a signatory of the Missile Technology Control
Regime (MTCR)—a voluntary agreement among member states whose goal is
to control missile proliferation—ISG uncovered substantial evidence that
companies in MTCR member states provided missile components and technical
assistance—some of these components and assistance may be controlled under
the MTCR— to Iraq’s delivery system programs.
- Sources within the Iraqi missile program disclosed that Iraq had contracts
with Russia for flow-forming machines that may have been MTCR controlled,
but ISG has been unable to confirm the delivery of such items. Computer
numerically-controlled flow-forming machines with more than two axes,
which can be coordinated with simultaneously for contouring control—useful
for making rocket motor cases, end domes and nozzles—are controlled
under Category II of the MTCR annex.
- Individuals within MIC stated that Iraq received gyroscopes from Russia
for use in their missile programs, specifically the Al Samud II. Contractual
evidence also exists that corroborates source claims that Al Karamah
imported gyroscopes from Russian companies. Coalition forces recovered
gyroscopes with Cyrillic letters on them and documents in Russian at
both Al Karamah and Al Milad, which suggests that these items were imported
from Russia. Russia may have been in breech of the MTCR because gyroscopes,
which measure rotation at about one or more axes, are Category II–controlled
items if they have a drift rate of less than 0.5 degree per hour.
- ISG recovered a contract between a Russian entity and Iraq for Russian
technical assistance for missile unidentified designs as well as Global
Positioning System (GPS) equipment for unidentified missiles. GPS devices,
if used to supplement or update the guidance set and increase the accuracy
of a ballistic missile, are controlled under Category II of the MTCR
A high-ranking official in the Iraqi missile program alleged that Iraq
received AP and aluminum powder from a France firm via the Al ‘Ayan Company.
Iraq also received HTPB from an Italian firm via the Al Taqaddum Company,
from a Japanese firm via the Al Sharqiyah Company and an unidentified
source in the United States via the Indian firm NEC Engineers Private,
Ltd. ISG has been unable to corroborate this information with any
other source reporting or contracts.