What’s in the Iranian military arsenal?

8 January 2020 (Last Updated September 1st, 2020 07:19)

Located in West Asia, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the second biggest country in the Middle East. Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East and is developing indigenous weapon systems such as long-range missiles.

What’s in the Iranian military arsenal?

Iran’s geography and boundaries

Region West Asia
Borders East: Afghanistan and Pakistan, West: Turkey and Iraq, North: Caspian Sea, South: Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf, North-west: Armenia and Azerbaijan, North-east: Turkmenistan
Maritime Boundaries UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain

 

What weapons does Iran military have?

Land Forces Assets

Iran has a range of armoured vehicles and artillery to call upon to serve combat needs. Listed below are the assets owned by Iranian Army.

Category Models
Main Battle Tanks Zulfiqar, T-72S, T-62, T-55, T-59, M47/48, M60A1, Karrar (in production)
Self-Propelled Howitzers M109
Towed Artillery GHN-45
Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Fajr-5
Amphibious Infantry Fighting Vehicles BMP-2
Armoured Personnel Carriers BTR-60, Boraq

 

Iran’s combat aircraft

Aircraft Name Type Procured from
F-14A/AM Tomcat Fighter US
Shenyang J-6 / F-6 Farmer Fighter China
Su-22 Fitter Fighter-bomber Iraq
Su-24MK Fencer Fighter-bomber Russia and Iraq
F-4D/E Phantom II Multi-role fighter US
Mirage F1 Multi-role fighter Iraq
F-7N Airguard Multi-role fighter China
MiG-29 Fulcrum A Multi-role fighter Russia and Iraq
F-5E/F Tiger II Multi-role fighter US

Support aircraft/Helicopters

Aircraft Role
EMB-312 Tucano Trainer and light attack
Su-25 Close air support
IL-76 Transport
An-74 Transport
Dassault Falcon 20 Transport and utility
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Transport
Bell 214 Search and rescue/transport
Bell 212 Transport
Toofan Attack helicopter
Mi-8/Mi-17 Transport

 

UAV platforms owned by Iran military

Iran also operates several armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for ISR and strike missions, as below.

Platform Role Endurance Payload capacity Altitude Range Known combat use
Ababil-2 Multi-role Up to two hours 40kg 3,000m 100km 2006 Lebanon War
Ababil-3 Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) Four hours 5,000m 100km Iraqi civil war, Syrian civil war
Qasef-1 Multi-role 30-45kg Up to 150km
Mohajer-2 ISR 1.5 hours 15kg 3,350m 50km
Mohajer-4 ISR 7 hours 5,486m 150km Civil wars in Iraq and Syria
Mohajer-6 Multi-role, including ISR and air-to-ground strike 12 hours 40kg 5,486m 200km Used against militants and terrorist groups in Iran
Shahed-129 Multi-role, including ISR and air-to-ground strike 24 hours 400kg 7,300m 1,700km Syrian civil war
Shahed-123 ISR
Karrar Multi-role 500km (combat range)

 

Missiles owned by Iranian defence

Iran’s missile arsenal includes close-range ballistic missiles (CRBMs), short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), and medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), which can hit targets at a maximum range of 2,000km, as far as Israel and south-eastern Europe.

Some of the major missiles Iran possesses include short-range Fateh-series missiles, Shahab-series, Nazeat, and Dezful, among others. Most of the missiles the country has are ballistic surface-to-surface missiles.

Missile Based Model Category Range Warhead
Shahab-1 Soviet Scud-B SRBM Up to 350km 1,000kg
Shahab-2 Scud-C SRBM 500km 770kg
Shahab-3 No Dong (NK) MRBM 2000km Up to 1,200kg
Fateh-110 Zelzal 2 SRBM 300km 650kg
Fateh-313 SRBM 500km
Qiam-1/ Qiam-1 ER Derived from Shahab-2 SRBM 750km-900km 750kg
Khorramshahr North Korean Musudan MRBM 2,000km 1,800kg
Emad-1 Shahab-3 variant with a manoeuvrable reentry vehicle for increased precision MRBM up to 2,000km 750kg
Zolfaghar Fateh-110 family variant with a submunition warhead SRBM 700km
Dezful Upgrade on Zolfaghar MRBM 1,000km
Sejil-1 MRBM 2,000-2,400km
Sejil-2 MRBM Up to 2,500km
Sejil-3 (Reportedly set to be the first IRBM) IRBM Up to 4,000km
Hoveyzeh Part of Soumar cruise missile family 1,350km
Soumar MRBM Up to 3,000km

 

Air defence systems

System Origin Type Range
SA-20c Exported version of the Russian S-300PMU-2 missile defence system Long-range strategic surface-to-air missile 200km
Bavar-373 Developed in Iran (claimed to offer better capabilities than S-300) Long-range strategic surface-to-air missile 200km
Rapier UK Short-range surface-to-air missiles 10km
Almaz S-200 Angara (SA-5 Gammon) Soviet Union Long-range strategic surface-to-air missile Up to 180km
MIM-23 Hawk US Medium-range surface-to-air missile 50km
Mersad Iran Medium-range air defence system (fires Shahin missiles) 45km
Raad and Khordad-3 Iran Medium-range air defence system 50-75km

 

Naval assets

Submarines Russian-built Kilo-class attack submarines, Ghadir midget submarine (based on North Korean-designed Yono-class), Nahang midget submarines, and Fateh-class coastal submarine
Surface Combatants Vosper Mk 5-class, frigates, Jamaran-class frigates and Sahand-class frigate
Missile/Patrol Boats Chinese-built Houdong missile boats and La Combattante class (Kaman class) patrol craft
Other Platforms Fast attack craft (FAC), fast inshore attack craft (FIAC)

 

Naval missiles

The Iranian Navy also has a range of anti-ship and coastal defence missiles.

Missile Type Range
Noor Coastal defence cruise missile Up to 170km
Ghader/Qader Anti-ship cruise missile 200km
Ghadir Anti-ship cruise missile 300km
Nasr Short-range anti-ship missile 35km
Jask-2 (in production phase) Submarine-launched anti-ship cruise missile
Khalij Fars (based on Fateh-110) Ballistic missile with infrared seeker 300km
Hormuz-1 Anti-radar ballistic missile
Hormuz-2 Active radar-guided ballistic missile 300km

 

Iran’s nuclear capabilities

Although Iran does not have any known nuclear weapons in its inventory, it has the ability to assemble a nuclear bomb with the available uranium stockpile.