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Air Defense: China Quietly Defends Iran
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August 12, 2009: While Iran has been unable to get modern Russian S300 surface-to-air missiles (yet), they have gone ahead and built a nationwide air defense network using Chinese HQ2 missiles. These were first purchased in the 1980s, but since then, Iran progressed to the point where they are now building HQ2 missiles and radar stations under license. It's believed that China has quietly allowed Iran to build the latest versions of the HQ2 as well. These are not quite as effective as the S300, but are pretty formidable.

The HQ-2 is a Chinese version of the Russian SA-2 system (from the 1950s). The Chinese have upgraded the SA-2 with modern electronics, an improved warhead, better rocket motors and more maneuverability. Their inventory of missiles is believed to be about 10,000. However, many are older models, and many of these are probably of uncertain reliability. American electronic countermeasures can probably defeat all models of the HQ-2. Newer models of the HQ-2 have a range of 40 kilometers, and will hit the target 70 percent of the time (if there are no countermeasures.) The HQ-2 radars have a hard time dealing with stealthy aircraft, and the radar is needed to guide the missile to its target (via radio signals from the ground to the missile).

China has been able to purchase Russian S300 systems, but still has an incentive to improve their HQ2s. That's because about half of their 150 air defense missile battalions are equipped with HQ2s, and that is not likely to change any time soon. So the Chinese are probably continuing to make improvements in the HQ2, and selling the technology to Iran. China wants long term access to Iranian oil, and helping upgrade Iranian air defenses is one way to help with the oil situation.

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Spiky    You Don't Say?!?   8/12/2009 9:35:52 AM
"China wants long term access to Iranian oil, and helping upgrade Iranian air defenses is one way to help with the oil situation."
 
 
Jeez, I have been pointing out some of these points regarding Iran/China/Oil for months. The Chinese will NEVER break their relationship with Iran, or vote against them in the U.N. or give a rat's ass about our interests or worries about a nuclear Iran. As long as Iran has oil, China will help them out. China will not help embargo or sanction Iran, period.
 
By the way, it is also looking more and more like Obama's failed diplomatic efforts to get Russia to put serious pressure on Iran is becoming obvious. No surprise there either.
 
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pmukherjee    India should learn   8/13/2009 4:34:19 AM
Iran is an old friend of India. Perhaps India should learn from China how to stand by its international commitments and trusted friends and not get swayed every time a strong wind blows in from Washington DC. I am sure we will come to that, may take us another two or three decades to be strong enough to do that.
 
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trenchsol       8/13/2009 6:00:22 AM
If there is no consensus about anti-Iran sanctions, there is still Israeli solution. Liberal forces from inside Iran did not make it this time, too. US Democrats have announced better relations with Iran, but it is barely even mentioned today.
 
So, I guess, Israel is on the move. I have confidence in them.
 
DG

 
 
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Spiky    trenchsol   8/13/2009 2:21:37 PM
I agree, it just might come to that.
 
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french stratege       8/13/2009 2:56:34 PM
This article is misunformed.
Iran has used the HQ2  2 decades ago because they had not an industry to produce missile during Iraq war.
But since in 3 decades Iran has improved much more its technology up to the point they are one of the very few country to master big solid propulsion has they have prove it with their new IRBM;
Iran has produced the HAWK for several years and also the SM1 which are much better and recent design.Even SM1 iranian update and modernisation was according to rumor not that successful.
Iran produce radars.
However to get a robust defense system you need 4 things
A radar, an missile as a platform, its seeker and a C3 system.
For missile as a platform Iran does not need the HQ2 as they have much better and master well powder propulsion so the HQ2 story is totally obsolete.Iran can produce by it self a missile which match SA300 kinematic performance.
Now you have seeker problem and again Iran has no problem to produce something better than Hawk or SM1 and so HQ2.
For C3 system they have also capacity to design their own and have proven it, and moreover C3 rely on dual use technologies.
For radar Iran has done reverse engineering of F14 or Hawk PIP radar for a long time and again they do not need anything related to HQ2.
Their problem is to get a modern radar with phase array antennas and likely PESA (I do not see Iranian today been able to build the huge infrastructure needed to produce a MMIC for AESA even in C band )
People here do not understand what Iranian do.
They build advanced foreign system and mostly to Russian in order to reverse engineering them and to embed tech and lessons in their own systems.
At most, they buy military components to Chinese, Russian or even ukrainians.
So they bought 29 Tor M1 and try to purchase some SA300.
Short range defense is based of their guns, Misagh 2 and their local copy of improved french Crotale which is based on Chinese copy.Not the Tor M1.
For long range air defense we know that they are trying to build by themselves some phased array radars and advanced active seekers as some published articles on their advances on some key technologies from their universities show it.
 
What we can says today is that Iran has already a medium long range system probably based on Hawk and improved by embedding recent digital technology and far more advanced than HQ2 and with much better kinematc performance.
As air defense systems are key to resist to a US or Israeli attack they do not disclose this sytem operational since 5 or 6 years since the time they have just saud we have developped a long range SAM (but they never show it).
Then, we don't know how much is advanced and if it has modern advanced phase array radars like the Chinese Patriot.If seeker are semiactive, or active.And how much they have.
Logic would be that they have build few thousand missiles and maybe an hundred system.But they hide it.
Now we can be sure that they are seeking an improved system but we have no clues if their new system is operational and when.
But we can be sure that their system is not based on HQ2.
 
 
 
 
 
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french stratege       8/13/2009 3:04:07 PM
read
As air defense systems are key to resist to a US or an Israeli attack, they do not disclose this sytem which is operational since 5 or 6 years since the time they have just said "we have developped a new long range SAM" (but they never show it).
As US or Israelis have not the exact figure of what Iranian have, it introduces at lot of unknown parameter in their planning.
Knowing your foe system allow much better planning.
And Iranians by purpose, do not disclose this system in order to deter.
They have a huge interest to show massive number of antitank, or IRBM to show that they can hurt, but not their air defense.
 
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warpig       8/13/2009 3:15:00 PM

What we can says today is that Iran has already a medium long range system probably based on Hawk and improved by embedding recent digital technology and far more advanced than HQ2 and with much better kinematc performance.

As air defense systems are key to resist to a US or Israeli attack they do not disclose this sytem operational since 5 or 6 years since the time they have just saud we have developped a long range SAM (but they never show it).

Then, we don't know how much is advanced and if it has modern advanced phase array radars like the Chinese Patriot.If seeker are semiactive, or active.And how much they have.

Logic would be that they have build few thousand missiles and maybe an hundred system.But they hide it.

Now we can be sure that they are seeking an improved system but we have no clues if their new system is operational and when.
 


You've been pushing this allegation on StrategyPage for several years.  You were totally wrong back then, and you're still flat-out wrong today.
 

 
 
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warpig       8/13/2009 3:21:11 PM

read


As air defense systems are key to resist to a US or an Israeli attack, they do not disclose this sytem which is operational since 5 or 6 years since the time they have just said "we have developped a new long range SAM" (but they never show it).

As US or Israelis have not the exact figure of what Iranian have, it introduces at lot of unknown parameter in their planning.

Knowing your foe system allow much better planning.

And Iranians by purpose, do not disclose this system in order to deter.

They have a huge interest to show massive number of antitank, or IRBM to show that they can hurt, but not their air defense.



 

How much deterrence does an undeployed SAM system (assuming arrguendo that it even existed) that's never been exercised and integrated into their IADS present?  Zippy.
 
Honestly, after (I'd guess about) five years of you making some posts about Iran's IADS I'm still not sure what your angle could be for this completely unsubstantiated obsession you have with grossly exaggerating Iran's air defense capability.
 
 
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french stratege       8/13/2009 3:23:34 PM
My little warpig.
I'm right and you willl know that the coming years.
It is simply impossible and absurd that Iranian have not leveraged their tech for a decent air defense system when we had seen their ability to keep F14 in service, their ability to produce Hawk locally and this for a decade, or their recent ability to master big solid propulsion.
Any serious defense analyst with strong technological background and which follow Iran, even on open sources, would says it.
They have deploy something in numbers but it is not public and not an obsolete system as an HQ2.
 
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french stratege       8/13/2009 3:46:19 PM
They have show recently such a system (Shahin) and with a phased array radar (maybe build on chinese components or licenced, for the likely PESA antenna) like I predicted
It seems based on Hawk but this is for years already.They have probably disclose it now because they have too much of them and need now to deploy too much of them on the field to hide it anymore.
 
They probably have a brand new longuer range missile not yet disclosed.Maybe a two stage Hawk derivative.
They had accessed to Phoenix missiles and they had for a long time some insights of how get a datalink and a strap down inertial system for SM2 like capabilities.
Tor M1 or SA 300 would not account for much than 10% of their capability in modern systems.
Same for their Saeqeh  fighter based on F5 with a twin tail
It is a decoy.
The Saeqeh  is likely only a test bench to master flyby wire systems so the 'useless) twin tail to evaluate properly FBW software with such an aerodynamic formula.
Their real fighter not yet disclosed and on design stage will be much heavier and advanced,...and stealthy (so the twin tail formula to master).Of course it would have not F35 performance and to produce an advanced engine is very difficult for it.
I'm an engineer and a senior manager and I think how I would design a Iranian weapon industry considering their real assets if I was in charge of Iran.And systematically I'm right and for a decade.
 
 
 
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