Surface Forces: Iran Follows China Who Followed France

December 6, 2011: Iran recently announced a new, locally made, anti-ship missile called Qader. It looks to be a modified version of the C-802. Iran is already producing a copy of the Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile under license as the Noor. The Qader is different in that it carries a smaller warhead and a larger motor, while using a rocket for its initial launch. This gives Qader a max range of 200 kilometers.

The C802A/Noor is a 6.8m (21 foot) long, 360mm diameter, 682kg (1,500 pound) missile, with a 165kg (360 pound) warhead. The C802 has a max range of 120 kilometers, and moves along at about 250 meters a second. The French Exocet missile is the same size and performance, but costs twice as much (over a million dollars each, but the manufacturer is known to be flexible on pricing.)

The new Exocet MM Block 3 has twice the range (180 kilometers) because of the turbojet engine. Qader uses a similar approach. The Exocet has been around for over three decades, has been proven in combat and is known to be reliable. The C802 is known to be less capable than the Exocet, but it looks similar.

Current weapons embargos on Iran do not cover short range missiles like the C-802. With these missiles, Iran can close the Persian Gulf to shipping. While warships can defend themselves against the Chinese missiles, tankers and cargo ships cannot. China has sold several hundred million dollars-worth of these anti-ship missiles in the last five years, plus whatever fees they received for the license built Noor. It's not known if Iran pays any license fees for Chinese technology used in the Qader.

 

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