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Iran Unveils “Exo-Atmospheric Trajectory Maneuvering Technology” for its Ballistic Missiles

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Iran Unveils “Exo-Atmospheric Trajectory Maneuvering Technology” for its Ballistic Missiles

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Originally published on Islamic Word News.

On the last day of the “Great Prophet 17” exercise, Iran unveiled for the first time the exo-atmospheric trajectory maneuvering technology of its detachable warheads for Qadr medium-range ballistic missile.

The technology or maneuverability of warhead outside atmosphere is performed with the help of pressurized gas thrusts or dual liquid fuel, and by changing the direction of the warhead, the trajectory is variable and the exact direction of the warhead is unpredictable. Therefore, this capability greatly reduces the chances of an air defense missile hitting a warhead.

The exo-atmospheric trajectory maneuvering technology, in addition to increase accuracy, guiding and maneuvering of Qadr missile in the atmosphere enhances its penetrability against missile defenses.

The maneuverability of medium- to high-range ballistic missile warheads can be achieved in two ways: maneuverability outside the atmosphere and hypersonic flight in the atmosphere. Considering the challenges of hypersonic wave rider warheads such as temperature management, guidance, materials and manufacturing process, the exo-atmospheric maneuvering method seems to be the most optimal option considering the performance, cost and time to upgrade conventional ballistic missile warheads in order to escape the air defense missiles.

For example, in this method, the old warheads can be upgraded and there is no need to use new complex and expensive refractory materials; The base design of the warheads does not change much and there is no need to design from the base.

According to studies, apparently the only country that has officially unveiled and used exo-atmospheric maneuvering technology so far is Russia and the Topol-MR intercontinental ballistic missile. Now, with this unveiling, Iran is one of the owners of this technology.

Iran Unveils “Exo-Atmospheric Trajectory Maneuvering Technology” for its Ballistic Missiles

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Changing the direction of warhead in near space or vacuum alone doesn’t do much good, since it doesn’t change the ballistic trajectory (the path). It’s not enough since upon entering the thicker atmosphere (as soon as %5-%10 of atmospheric pressure), aerodynamics kick in and quickly revert it. In the thicker part of atmosphere we can change the direction a little bit by fins but then it’s something totally different from vacuum thrusters. It’s the case for separate warheads, the single-body missiles could use their thrust-vectoring and there’s really no need for additional weight of attitude control.

But if you are able to thrust the separated warhead in any or a combination of orbital 3 axis then you successfully changed the trajectory. depending on the velocity of object and it’s apogee, even the smallest amount of thrust can move the impact point or the overall range significantly.

A combination of the two methods is even better for a single re-entry vehicle, because the opponent can only predict where it doesn’t probably hit, leaving them with a large possible impact area (measured in hundreds of square kilometers) for an apogee of about 2,000 km. And that’s for a conventional missile with the price tag of a fraction of any ABM countermeasure. That’s a good preventive move, but against a sane adversary not the people who in a war of choice see an opponent’s %70 destruction rate against their own %60 as some kind of win.


Thanks for the detailed analysis. That explains in part how their SRBM and MRBMs have reached metric-precision since 2019-2020 (that we know of). Previously the other critical milestones for Iran’s missile industry was the addition of laser-guided gyroscopes replacing the old mechanical gimballs dating back decades and with CEPs in the kilomeric range. This once greatly diminished its tactical value, implied a large allocation of assets to have a chance of destroying merely one target of importance and reduced theirbrole to being mere city busters,which isn’t even ethical to begin with.

Terminal course correction through visual area corrrelation with on-board optical suite data was another milestone achieved circa 2010,also applied together with Tercom for cruise missiles.

But now, targetting individual buildings sitting on the enemy strategic infrastructure and assets as small as vehicules, fixed and rotary wing assets ,barrack or duel depots,bridges and critical plants, is a proven given and dramaticaly changes the balance pf power in the event of a shooting war. Add terminal avoidance shown in this article and man, only delusionnal,suicidal maniacs would dare still tangle with Iran on military terms by firing the first shot.


No problem. There was also major advances in radar, sensors and EW. Not to mention the drones and their swarm AI. I’m waiting for announcement of the local production of some Russian toys and resuming work on our own (which was shelved by Rouhani and co.). The work for nuclear marine propulsion is ongoing, good news comes from the space agency with a breakthrough before president Raisi’s first term finishes and we might have our first hyper sonic flyer by then.


Yes you mean the “Oghab”, the Tor-M1 custom copies, and some navalized version of the Zoobin and Khordad 3, right ? there’s a lot of fuss about these on the Iranian section of Pak Defence Forum, I’ve been hanging out there every since IMF migrated there.

An HGV getting unveiled in a matter of years would be the long-awaited final nail in the coffin of any realistic propsect for an American large-scale military effort ever being mounted against Iran. I thought we’d first have to wait for supersonic AshMs such as the P-800 before expecting an outright hypersonic asset, but with Iranian R&D, you can expect anything :D

The country’s military circles have aptly identified the core of their asymetrical doctrine must go the Russian route, with a large arrage of sea-skimming anti-ship vectors, and then the Chinese way: a solid, developed and large enough A2/AD arsenal with a certified ballistic ability to at least totally neutralize heavy USN vessels and most importantly their aircraft carriers, even without outright sinking them, which isn’t even required to win a war (by ending an administration’s involvement in it out of fear of further unacceptable casualties).

And yes I was shocked to learn that the former administration actually went so far as to SHELVE such critical, central defense project. I mean I could have understood they tone down offensive weapons (even though with rogues barking neighbors threatening to provoke nuclear catastrophe all over Iran with no shame whatsoever lately, my views on that have been changing quite fast) but AIR-DEFENSE ? Are they even serious ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Gryzor

What I meant are more bird-like, wings and whatnot.

Chris Gr


Rhodium 10

Thats why neither USA nor Israel attack Iran…while Syria is the fool sparring…


I notice from the comments some hooked noses have been knocked out of joint…

Anyway, it’s good to know that should any dumbass attack Iran, they can expect to get something shoved up their A-holes.


Neither the Kikes nor the Yanks are stupid enough to do that alone. israel is too scared of annihilation by 1000 missiles per hour

In the know

It would appear that this time Russia is serious about delivering SU-35 and S-400 to Iran as well.

L du Plessis

God protect iran from the zionists.!

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