Iran's missile power is now one of the great achievements of the Islamic Republic in the field of military technology and defense power, the starting point of which can be considered the period of the imposed war.

Iran PressIran news: In recent years, relying on domestic capabilities and maximum use of existing capabilities, in a short period of time, new and modern missiles, including anti-ship cruise missiles, have been unveiled, and with the introduction of each of them, Iran's ability in defense is more visible.

Anti-ship cruise missiles are among the most effective weapons on naval battlefields capable of delivering heavy and deadly blows against ships. One of the most prominent advantages of these missiles is the lack of visibility by high-tech radars that allow these types of missiles to pass through anti-missile systems. Because the radar cross-section of cruise missiles is low, it is difficult for enemy radars to detect these types of missiles and increase the likelihood of passing through missile defense systems.

The RCS radar cross-section is the degree to which an object can be detected by radar, and the higher the value, the more visible the shape to the radar. Also, in many cases, new anti-ship missiles use small turbofan engines that minimize the possibility of heat radiation outside the missile so that they are not targeted by anti-missile systems. Low-altitude flight is another advantage of cruise missiles and therefore hidden from radar. Of course, this method is only enough to escape some types of radar, but it is a method that is used today along with other methods.

Iran and the development of cruise missiles

Given the benefits presented, Iran has for the past three decades sought to increase its capabilities in the production of cruise missiles, especially anti-ship cruise missiles, and in the production of advanced ballistic missiles, liquid, solid, and a combination of It, Iran is a world-renowned country, able to establish itself as a superior power in the field of cruise missiles. An array of anti-ship cruise missiles with various targeting systems and different ranges have been developed in Iran to date.

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During the 8-year imposed war, many operational experiences were gained in the field of naval battles. In this regard, the acquisition of various types of anti-ship cruise missiles, types that can be launched from the coast, ships, and air, was raised as one of the priorities of the country's armed forces. Observing the performance of anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon missile at the disposal of the Iranian Navy and the French Exocet missile at the disposal of Iraq, as well as the use of silkworm missiles by both sides, prompted the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Support to design, build and produce anti-ship missiles with various ranges that can fire from the three main categories of launchers, namely submarines, aircraft and ground platforms, make significant investments.

Unveiling of Zafar

One of these missiles is the 'Zafar' anti-ship missile, which has been introduced for more than ten years and is now in the service of the Armed Forces. The mass production line of the Zafar naval cruise missile system was inaugurated on February 4, 2012, and the first series was delivered to the Navy of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps. The ceremony was held in the presence of Brigadier-General Ahmad Vahidi, then Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Support, and Brigadier-General Ali Fadavi, then Commander of the IRGC Navy, at the Ministry of Defense Aerospace Industries Organization.

Vahidi described the design, construction, and mass production of the Zafar naval cruise missile system as another achievement for the Ministry of Defense aerospace industry, which significantly enhances the operational capability and mobility, and agility of Iran's navy. However, some sources consider this missile to be very similar to the Chinese-made C 704 missile.


The Zafar missile is a short-range, anti-ship missile capable of targeting and destroying small and medium-sized targets with great precision. This missile system is one of the all-made Iranian designed and built missile, by the capable and efficient experts of the Aerospace Industries Organization of the Ministry of Defense. The ability to be installed on a variety of light and fast ships, low weight with high electronic warfare capability and extraordinary destructive power is a feature of the Zafar cruise missile system.

After firing, the Zafar missile reaches the cruise stage by decreasing its altitude in order to hide from the enemy, and in the final stage, it destroys the target after discovering the target at low altitude. In terms of the speed of operation and tactical capabilities of the Zafar missile, it should be said that this missile is able to hit targets individually and in groups every 3 seconds. Zafar anti-ship cruise missile has a range of 8 to 25 km, a speed of Mach 0.8 and is the latest generation of light and short-range anti-ship missiles in Iran. The 30-kilogram high-explosive warhead and radar targeting system, which gives the missile a "shoot and forget" capability with solid fuel propulsion, are other features of this 2,685-meter missile, which has a diameter of 180 mm and a wingspan of 586 mm.

This missile can be installed on light and fast ships and the evaluation of foreign experts for missiles in Zafar category shows that due to their small size and relatively high speed, these missiles will be difficult targets for the defense systems of the attacked vessels. The Impact delay fuse of this missile causes a warhead to explode shortly after penetrating the ship, which occurs near the surface of the water, and the missile enters the hull, which causes more damage.

The Zafar cruise missile, whose development phases are still ongoing, is considered a " Radar Evading missile" by flying at low altitudes. These types of cruise missiles have important advantages such as not being seen by advanced radars (which allow them to pass through anti-missile systems) and the ability to be guided along the path of the missile. Zafar has relatively small dimensions and high destructive power and therefore can be installed and fired from small vessels, and this advantage increases the country's tactical power in the face of maritime threats.

The Zafar anti-ship missile lowers its altitude shortly after firing to hide from enemy radars. Other advantages of the Zafar missile include its small dimensions and observance of design principles in both aerodynamic and radar cross-sections. Zafar has a very small radar cross-section and hits the target away from the enemy, and this means that the anti-ship cruise has a high stealth capability. It will be very effective.

As the speed of sound increases with increasing temperature, the actual speed of an object moving at a speed equal to the speed of sound depends on the temperature of the fluid and the air around it. Also, in the design of Zafar cruise missile, wide wings have been used, which gives this missile the ability to change its direction more quickly. In fact, the large wings between this anti-ship cruise provide the main force for flying in the air, as well as the wings located at the rear of the missile in order to keep the missile balanced, provide stability and adapt the missile axis to the angle of travel in the flight path.

The Zafar anti-ship missile was tested in the third naval zone of the IRGC in March 2013 and destroyed the target with accuracy and success. The cruise missile, mounted on high-speed vessels of the IRGC Navy's Third Region, which was tested, was able to detect the target at a considerable distance and, with a successful firing, destroyed the target.

Writer: Seyed Reza Mirtaher


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