In 2014, General Mehdi Farahi, former head of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), announced for the first time the final program of Toophan missiles.

Iran PressIran news: Toophan is an Iranian SACLOS anti-tank guided missile reverse-engineered from the American BGM-71 TOW missile. "With the same TOW missile base and platform, we have produced Toophan missiles in seven stages, from Toophan 1 to Toophan 7, and this trend continues, and Toophan missiles up to Type 11 have been defined," General Mehdi Farahi said.

Even though the American TOW missile was used as a model until the construction of Toophan 3, but since Toophan 4, we are witnessing innovation and new products have more impressive specifications and new capabilities.

Iranian Toophan anti-tank missiles have repeatedly shown good performance against armored targets in the fight against terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria and for destroying their suicide vehicles, often covered with metal plates, from long distances before reaching their targets.

Toophan 1:

The indigenous model of the TOW missile, which the Iranian Ministry of Defense mass-produced in the 1990s, was called 'Toophan', which in some respects differed and improved from the foreign model. These include a 3.6 kg warhead, a weight of 18.5 kg, a penetration rate of 550 mm armor and a range of 70 to 3850 meters, and a maximum speed of 310 meters per second.

The effective range of this missile, whose body length and diameter and bulkhead are 116, 15, and 45 cm, respectively, is 3500 meters during the day and 2500 meters at night with the help of a thermal targeting system, and its average speed in flight is 240 meters per second.

Toophan 2:

Due to the use of explosive reactive armor by new tanks, the second generation of the Toophan was built with a two-stage warhead. Toophan 2 is 145 cm long when the rod is open and 116 cm long when it is closed due to the use of a rod containing a primary warhead that is 40 mm in diameter. The rod is mechanically telescopic, and a primary warhead is embedded in its tip. The primary warhead destroys the reaction part by striking the reaction armor, and the main warhead penetrates the body.

The total weight of the Toophan 2 missile is 19.1 kg, the warhead weight is 4.1 kg, and its penetration is 760 mm, which shows a 38.2% increase compared to Toophan 1.

Other features of this model include targeting, and guiding methods are the same as the first generation. In particular, the probability of hitting both generations of Toophans is 95%. These missiles can be used at night with a shorter range.

Toophan 3:

One of the notable examples of the Toophan missile family is the Toophan 3, which has two different characteristics from previous generations. This missile can attack from above (Top Attack), and its warhead is of the "explosive penetrator" (EFP) type.

In the Iranian Toophan 3 missile, after firing and accelerating the rocket, its flight takes place above the direct line of sight to the target.

The missile detects its target through magnetic and laser sensors, and when it reaches above it, it explodes its 1.7 kg warhead. This warhead is capable of penetrating more than 80 mm in 'RHA' armor. The diameter of this warhead, which is located behind the sensors and close to the missile's nose, is 12.8 cm. The Toophan 3 missile weighs 19.1 kilograms and has a range of 650 to 3500 meters, and its other-dimensional and functional characteristics, including the guidance method, are similar to Toophan 1.

Toophan 3M:

Toophan 3M anti-tank missile is a new generation of Toophan 3 anti-tank missiles. These two missiles are top-attack. With the unveiling of the 3rd Toophan in February 2018, Iran had two Top Attack missiles from the Toophan family.

Toophan 4:

The next and lesser-known model of the Toophan missile, called Toophan 4, is a model with a body similar to the Toophan base model but equipped with a thermobaric warhead.

This type of warfare is very effective for destroying shelters and light targets with low armor protection. The missile is distinguished from the base model by a broad red stripe at the warhead.

This type of warhead has a different and more complex function than conventional burst warheads.

In the thermobaric warhead, in addition to the initial explosion and its fragments, there is a radius of thermal effect to affect the target. Then intense pressure waves are created in the rocket explosion environment, which with a small energy drop, the energy waves in different angles, such as corridors.  

Therefore, the thermobaric warhead effectively fights terrorist or insurgent groups hiding in nesting caves or shelters.

The range of the Toophan 4 rocket is between 100 and 3750 meters, its final speed is 310, and its average speed is 178 meters per second, which shows slight changes compared to the base Toophan.

The 100-meter reduction in the maximum range of Toophan 4 compared to the base model could be due to the increase in weight of this missile because this model weighs 20 kg, of which 3.5 kg is related to warheads. The rocket is 117.2 meters long and 15.3 centimeters in diameter, with a maximum flight time of 21 seconds.

Typically, one to two Toophan 4 missiles can be fired from its launcher per minute. This missile can be used in temperatures from minus 32 to favorable 60 degrees. 

Toophan 5:

The Toophan 5 missile is considered the most developed example of this family, and its images show significant differences even compared to the latest TOW models.

Unlike previous generations, this missile has an advanced guidance method using a laser beam, which, while protecting it from vulnerability to enemy electronic warfare, also gives it a very high accuracy.

The missile also has a two-stage warhead and a new three-part telescopic bar.

The penetration of this missile in armor is more than in previous generations.

Toophan 5 missile can launch modified TOW/Toophan launchers and is therefore suitable for existing ground launchers.

The targeting and guidance section of the missile launcher system has been improved following its changes and is equipped with 'semi-automatic guidance on laser beam' devices.

Comparison of the images shows that although the body of the Toophan 5 is more elongated, it uses the same propulsion system as previous generations. A quadruple set of cross-shaped bulbs has also been added to the front of the main bulbs in this generation.

The most significant change made in Toophan 5 has made it one of Iran's most effective anti-tank weapons because the penetration of this type of Toophan missile has increased to 900 mm. In fact, after the Dehlavieh missile with a penetration rate of more than 1200 mm, Toophan 5 has a second-place among Iran's anti-armor weapons. Of course, this penetration rate is also high among the world's missiles.

The range of Toophan 5 is between 100 to 3500 meters, its weight is 23 kg, the length with the rod (primary warhead) in the open state is 147.3 and in the closed state is 117.2 mm, the diameter of the body is 15.3 cm and the bulkhead is 48 cm.

The warhead weighs 6.2 kg, which is significantly more than the Toophan anti-tank models.

The average speed of this sample has been reduced to 167 meters per second, and its firing rate per minute and operating temperature are similar to Toophan 4.

Compared to Toophan 2, which is also equipped with reactive armor destruction rods, Toophan 5 achieved a 20.4% increase in weight and an 18.4% increase in armor penetration.

Like other types of Toophans, this missile can fire from a fixed-ground launcher, and samples mounted on tactical vehicles and seems to have been tested on Cobra helicopters of the Iranian army in recent years.

Toophan 6:

Toophan 6 missile, like the Toophan 4, has a thermobaric warhead and looks similar to the base model of the Toophan, except that the entire fuselage in this new model has the same diameter, i.e., the reduction in the diameter of the fuselage in Toophans 1, 2 and 4. It was seen after the flight propulsion part, and it is not seen in Toophan 6.

This increases the volume of the missile body in the front, which increases the importance of the warhead so that the warhead of this model has increased from 3.5 kg in Toophan 4 to 5 kilograms in Toophan 6.

Other specifications changed in Toophan 6 compared to Toophan 4 include a range of 100 to 3,500 meters, a total weight of 21 kg, and an average speed of 170 meters per second. Like Toophans 4 and 5, this missile can fire from a fixed ground launcher, armor, and helicopters.

Toophan 7: 

The following example of the Toophan rocket family, the Toophan 7, is a thermobaric warhead, but it does not have a precise specification or image to compare with the other two thermobaric models of Toophan missiles.


Read More:

Air defense systems "Ya Zahra," "Herz-9" effective against low altitude threats