Iran reveals underground ballistic missile silos

Iran, in state TV broadcast, shows world its ability to protect missiles, secretly store them throughout the country.

By
June 27, 2011 22:45
1 minute read.
Iranian ballisitic missile launched at war game.

Iranian ballistic missile_311 reuters. (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)

 
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Iran unveiled underground ballistic missile silos for the first time on Monday in a warning to the world of its ability to protect its missiles and secretly store them in hidden locations throughout the country.

State TV broadcast footage of several military officers touring an underground silo that was holding a Shahab 3 ballistic missile. The missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers, putting Israel within its reach, but is powered by liquid fuel, which means that it requires more considerable preparation immediately before launch than a solid rocket.

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The unveiling of underground missile silos was confirmation of Israeli and American warnings in recent years that Iran was dispersing its missiles in silos, likely scattered throughout the country.

In the footage, a missile is shown being launched from inside one of the silos, which has large metal doors that open on the surface with the press of a button.

Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, said the decision to release the video was likely an Iranian attempt to boost its deterrence vis-à-vis Israel and the West.

“The silos look fairly sophisticated and by unveiling them, the Iranians are trying to show the world that their missiles are protected even if the country is attacked,” Inbar said. He added that other countries with missile silos used them strictly for missiles equipped with nuclear warheads and not for conventional ballistic missiles.

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The missile silos could also be used to launch Iran’s longrange solid-fuel missile called Sajjil, which is expected to be test-fired by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the 10 days of war games that began on Monday under the name of “Great Prophet 6.”

Brig.-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, was quoted in the Tehran Times as saying that Iran obtained missile silo technology 15 years ago and has since installed them throughout the country.

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