Turkish Intelligence: Iran beginning to produce Shihab-3 missile
The Islamic Republic of Iran has carried out a successful test of its Shihab-3 1,300-km-range missile and has decided to begin production, according to a special report prepared by Turkish intelligence.
The report says that Iran tested the Shihab-3 in the Semman region last month. Iran currently plans to produce at least 150 of the missiles, which are capable of dropping a one-ton warhead on Israel, the report said, according to an Israeli English-language daily.
Up until now, the Iranians are known to have conducted only three test launches, two of which failed and one that was a questionable success.
Furthermore, Iran is also preparing to test its 2,000-km Shihab-4 soon, according to the report.
Israeli officials assess Iran has thus far been able to amass an arsenal of at least 20 Shihab-3s, which are based on a North Korean design for the No Dong medium-range rocket with Russian improvements, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Turkey is especially concerned since its major cities are within the range of Iranian missiles.
The Turkish intelligence report also warned that Turkey needed to take countermeasures and that Turkey and Israel are the main targets for the Shihab-3 should a conflict erupt.
According to the Turkish intelligence report, Iran has already procured a sophisticated air defense system based on the Russian S-300 missile. It has sent a number of technicians to the Russian capital for training. Intelligence reports say Iran is currently operating at least 10 laboratories working on chemical and biological weapons.
Iran has a robust missile industry and currently has some 500 missiles in its arsenal. These include 195 300-km Scud-Bs, 150 500-km Scud-Cs, 25 150-km CSS-8s, and 25 200-km Musshaks, the Post added.
Moreover, the Islamic Republic has developed its Zulfikar tank, making some changes with its armor and fire capability. Iran is to produce 300 Zulfikars a year, with 125-mm cannon and night vision, as it continues to produce 400 T-72 tanks with Moscow. In addition, it is also developing a new armored personnel carrier at its main military production base at Kolehduz. (Albawaba.com)