Artillery: New Iranian Weapons


April 15, 2024: Iran has announced introduction of a lot of new weapons this year, though all such claims must be viewed suspiciously. These announcements include the Arman anti-ballistic and Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense systems. The Arman anti-ballistic system can identify targets up to a range of 180 kilometers and can fire at 12 targets at the same time. The Arman radar and missiles are carried on the same TELAR (Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar) vehicle along with two mobile launchers with six vertically launching missiles.

The Azarakhsh short-range defense system can hit targets up to 50 kilometers km range and is equipped with four missiles. This system can be mounted on most vehicles and can operate day or night under all weather conditions using a three-dimensional radar system, optical search, and advanced seekers. Neither of these systems has been tested in combat so actual performance is not yet known.

Iran also announced a new cruise missile system with a 700 kilometer range and able to be fired while the launcher vehicle is moving. Iran also revealed new eight-meter long boat speed boats than can each carry a missile with a range of 30 kilometers.

Over the last few years Iran significantly expanded its naval force of armed speed boats that can swarm hostile warships and damage or destroy them. This is all theoretical because Iran has never actually carried out these kinds of attacks against enemy warships successfully. Iran has also developed armed and unarmed USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) to use against larger ships. Ukraine has already used this type of weapon to destroy Russian warships in the Black Sea. Western navies are working on countermeasures but won’t discuss details of their progress.

Iran has also supplied Russian forces fighting in Ukraine with four hundred surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, including Fateh-110 models with ranges of 300 kilometers. These are 3.5 ton solid-fuel missiles carrying a warhead with half a ton of explosives. These missiles are carried and launched from several different truck mounted launchers. One of these can carry two missiles while the others carry only one missile.

Shipments to Russian forces in Ukraine began in January 2024 and continue to the present. The missiles were transported to Russia by ship via the Caspian Sea or, for smaller missiles, via air transports

Russian hopes the Iranian missiles perform better than the ones obtained from North Korea. Those missiles proved unreliable and inaccurate. At one point Russian launched 24 North Korean ballistic missiles at Ukrainian targets but only two of the missiles hit the targets they were aimed at. The other missiles were wildly inaccurate and most landed in unoccupied areas or damaged structures having no military significance.

The Iranian missiles are believed to be more accurate and could inflict substantial damage if many of them were launched at a single target, which could be an industrial area or military base. The guidance systems of Fatah missiles can hit within 100 hundred meters to 600 meters of their aim points, depending on the model. These are not precision weapons but are effective when a barrage of them are fired at a target that covers a large area. These missiles have been used by Iran-backed forces in Syria over the last decade and generally performed well.

Russia is still obtaining the propeller driven Shahed UAVs and has used nearly 4,000 of these so far. These low, slow cruise missiles can travel hundreds of kilometers to a specific target and detonate. Ukraine has developed defensive tactics based on a network of spotters and a mobile force of truck mounted heavy machine-guns to back up stationary machine-guns based around important targets. Ukraine manages to shoot down up to 90 percent of attacking Shahed UAVs, but some still get through and cause some damage.




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