Iran's Conventional Arms Program

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Iranian Monitor, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    While reports on Iran have focused on its nuclear and missile program, what is left largely unreported is the ambitious conventional arms program embarked by Iran in recent years. The following is a brief summary of the major armaments being produced in Iran.

    I. Main Battle Tanks

    Iran has 3 generations of Zulfiqar tanks: the Z-1, Z-2, and the latest model Z-3 tanks. They were all featured in last years' military parade. The Zulfaghar-3 (Z-3) battle tank is an advanced tank strongly resembling the American M1 Abrams tank.

    http://www.halo5.net/trg/m1_zul_compare.htm

    All of Iran's major tanks are fitted with Iranian ERA packages designed to increase their battle survivability.

    You can view pictures of Iran's tanks, including the "Z-3" at the following site:

    http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_249.shtml

    II. Fighter Aircraft

    A. Azarakhsh Fighter

    Iran shocked military observers in 1997 when it announced successfully test flying a domestically produced jet fighter, named the Azarakhsh. Iran currently has around 30 Azarakhsh fighters in its inventory.

    B. Saegheh

    A couple of months ago, Iran finally showed a test flight of its Saegheh jet fighter. A short clip of the Saegheh jet fighter in flight can be viewed at the following site:

    http://www.iribnews.ir/media/tv/ch1/14-00/today.asf

    The Saegheh is a larger, twin finned, version of Northrop's F-5 fighter and despite modern avianics and other additions, still lags behind modern jet fighters in the West. However, Iran has announced plans for the development of a so-called 4th generation stealth fighter, the Shafagh. You can see a comparison of the Shafagh with the Russian MIG I-2000 advanced fighter at the following site (scroll down to the middle of the page, left corner, for pictures of mock versions of the Shafagh and comparison with the Russian fighter):

    http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/news065.htm

    C. Other Aircraft

    Besides the Azarakhsh, Saegheh and Shafagh, Iran also produces several trainers and other light aircraft, along with several types of helicopters. In addition, Iran has a join project with the Ukraine for the production of a large transport airplane, with a commercial and a military version, called the Iran-140.

    III. Warships

    Iran has several warships under develpment, and has already launched its so-called Mowj "destroyer" -- which is actually the size of a small frigate or corvette. Iran also produces a midget submarine as well as smaller missle and patrol boats. Just today, Iran announced that it has also launched a large ocean going vessel, although I don't know much about it.

    IV. Space Satellites

    Iran has a space program, announcing today that it will launch its first domestic space satellite by next year. This satellite will orbit 900 km outside the earth's orbit. Although Iran denies that the satellite will have any military applications, and claims it will be launched purely for scientific exploration, many analysts have linked work on this satellite with later generation models of Iran's Shahab Medium Range Ballistic Missiles.

    V. Missiles, Artillery, and other armaments

    Besides a variety of ground to ground missiles, Iran also produces a host of other missiles, including ground to air missiles, air to air missiles, air to sea and ground to sea cruise missiles. Similarly, Iran produces various types of artillery and multiple rocket launchers, and is largely self-sufficient in most munitions and small arms.

    Although Iran is roughly a decade way from reaching the objectives of its conventional arms build up, namely to fully replace its aging arsenal from foreign sources, the advancements made by Iran in conventional arms is rather remarkable.


  2. Frankfurt Blue

    Frankfurt Blue Member

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    Sounds great! Just like Germany in the 1930s. Build up a better equipped armed services and then, well....you have to use it sometime. :(
  3. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    Iran has legitimate defense needs to embark on this program. Unlike other nations in the region, which have a reliable foreign supplier to meet their basic defense needs, Iran doesn't have any such suppliers. Without a domestic armaments program, Iran would be left with no way to defend itself against a host of potential adversaries. After all, Iran shares land borders with Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan Republic, Armenia, Turkemenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, as well as bordering the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman just across the waterway. (e.g., Saudi Arabia, et al). Besides these countries, Iran has to worry about US forces in the region, as well as the Israelis and even one day again perhaps the Russians.
  4. Frankfurt Blue

    Frankfurt Blue Member

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    Oh the joy of paranoia and the build up of miltiary arms. Just check out Germany in the 1930s sharing numerous borders, with armed nations and Germany having none. Then a Mr Hitler did just what Iran is doing today.


  5. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

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    Fortunately Hitler didn't have any nukes.
  6. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

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    Iranian Monitor,

    Here is a serious peice of advice. If you live near any part of the Iranian nuclear program. MOVE.
  7. stopper4

    stopper4 Member

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    You did notice his location says "USA'?

    I think he's said before he's from California.



    Monitor,

    I'm sure Iran would love to have capable, modern military equipment and the infrastructure to support it. But they don't. If push came to shove between Iran and a modern military, they'd quickly resort to throwing massive ammounts of poorly equipped and trained infantry at their enemies. Much like Iran vs. Iraq twenty years ago. Fortunately for Iran, what it does have in abundant supply are plenty of fanatics willing to die for the cause.
  8. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    http://www.spacedaily.com/2004/040902084238.7tlw4kbq.html

  9. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

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  10. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    Although not in my area of expertise, I have to assume that if Iran was able to launch a much bigger/heavier satellite into orbit, then it could also have the ability to deploy Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). Even US estimates designed to encourage funding for anti-missile defense systems put Iran 5-10 years away from developing ICBMs capable of hitting the US.
  11. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

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    I can't beleive you live in the US. Do you honestly beleive Iran would have any chance of standing up against the US?

    Here is a quote from an interview with an Iraqi arms dealer before the Gulf War:
    Now who does that sound like today?
  12. Kappa18

    Kappa18 New Member

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    Iranian Monitor,

    ghoosh bedeh,
    Iran lazem nadareh keh aslaheh dorost koneh. Iran aslaheh joore digeh istefadeh mikoneh va jangeh sadeh ba Israel az tarigheh terror mikoneh. aghar Israel hamantori mikard Iran ta halla az bein rafteh bood
  13. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    How old are you?

    I don't recall talking about Iran having a chance to stand up to the US. The articles and sources I have cited here are about Iran's arms production aimed at replacing its aging foreign supplied weaponry.

    Of course, I have shared analysis that indicates that there is no reasonable "military solution" with regard to Iran's nuclear program. That is a view widely shared among many in the US, including neocons, Republicans and Democrats, as well as the Israelis. The focus of US efforts against Iran is to either convince Iran to give up its work on the "full nuclear fuel cycle" -- or alternatively have the country subjected to streneous international economic and diplomatic sanctions.

    Iran and Iraqi situations, in any case, are not comparable. Now go and beat your chest a little more and feel better about yourself doing so.
  14. Kappa18

    Kappa18 New Member

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    No Solution?

    Here is the solution....

    How about not starting up a nuclear arsensal to threaten a half a dozen nations.

    Everyone knows that Iran will not use the Nuclear Reactor for civil purposes, since they have other dependencies.

    Having a nuclear reactor just makes Iran more dangerous..
    But what does it matter to you. Your parents ran like hell from Iran to give you a better life in the US, while you and your Nationalist Ideals think that Iran is some sort of powerhouse in Asia........
  15. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

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    Old enough to remember what it was like in 1979 with all the Iranians (sorry, Persians, sorry, Irahnians) trying to find good housing around Washington DC.

    Replace it for what? Defending agaisnt Afghanistan? Qatar? Pakistan? Who?

    Your point is that there is nothing the US can do. My point is that the US always has other options which are recognized by both parties. Your counter point is that executing those options would be hard. My counter point is that it won't be too hard.
  16. stopper4

    stopper4 Member

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    They're Shias/Persians, dude. Potentially the whole damn region.

    I don't have a problem with their having a military. Even a 'modern' one. Just nukes.
  17. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member

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    Reading your posts, I wouldn't have guessed ...

    Iran has different issues with different states in the region. All states aspire to have the means to defend themselves against potential adversaries -- and none would like to be subject to threats, intimidation, and ransom. For instance, although the focus right now might lie elsewhere, down the line Iran will probably have as much to fear from (nuclear armed) Pakistan (and its impoverished economy) as it does from the threats on its western borders.

    I am very concerned about US policy towards Iran. I fear much less any military action against Iran, as opposed to efforts to "isolate" Iran economically and otherwise. That would stiffle the dynamics for positive change within the country. As I care about Iran being able to not only defend itself, but more importantly to one day enjoy a democratic system of government that can meet the needs and demands of its people, any outside rhetoric and action that retards that process is what I worry about most.

    Otherwise, whatever your point, it carries no weight with me -- and even less in Washington or elsewhere.

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