Unveiling Qased satellite carrier’s third stage engine, completing the puzzle of Iran’s exo-atmospheric missile technology
After the release of images of the third stage engine of the Qaseed satellite carrier, interesting points can be obtained from this engine. First, we start with the dimensional estimation of this engine, which was determined with the help of calculations based on the single-point perspective of the image, the diameter of the cylinder holding the satellite was determined, and then by placing the diameter of the cylinder as a base in an image from the front view, the diameter of the spherical body of the engine was calculated, which is about 700 mm.
Interestingly, these dimensions match up well with the newly unveiled exo-atmospheric trajectory maneuvering warhead of Qadr medium-range ballistic missile that we reviewed a while back.
Since this engine has a carbon fiber composite body like the Salman and Rafe engines and most likely has a thrust vector control mechanism with the help of a flexible nozzle, the engine body is designed spherical. Spherical bodies in pressure tanks have the lowest mass at the same pressure compared to other geometries, and the purpose of spherical design is to reduce the dead weight of the satellite carrier.
As mentioned, the dimensions of this engine are quite suitable for placement in the exo-atmospheric maneuvering warhead, and since it is common for the IRGC Aerospace Force to use the same modules and parts in order to reduce costs in different missile systems, it is likely that the third stage engine of the Qased satellite carrier is used in this warhead.
It is even predicted that an exo-atmospheric anti-missile defense missile is under development using Raafe, Salman and Qased third stage engines along with third stage gas thrusters. This achievement can provide Iran with exoatmospheric anti-ballistic missile or anti-satellite weapon technology, and for the first time, the Islamic Republic will have a defense umbrella against intercontinental nuclear weapons.