Military Knowledge: Khorramshahr-4 Ballistic Missile

Saturday 27 May 2023 - 21:11

Khoramshahr-4 ballistic missile is the 4th generation of Iran’s Khorramshahr series of missiles, which was unveiled on May 25, 2023 by the Ministry of Defense of Iran. The range of this missile is 2000 km and its 1500 kg warhead is considered one of the heaviest warheads of Iranian missiles. The use of hypergolic fuel, the advanced “Arvand” engine, the speed of Mach 16 outside the atmosphere and Mach 8 inside the atmosphere, and the ability to guide and control the warhead in the mid-phase exoatmosphere are among the distinctive features of Khorramshahr-4.

On May 25 and on the occasion of the anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr city in the Iraq-Iran war, the Khorramshahr 4 surface-to-surface ballistic missile with the operational name of “Khaybar” was unveiled in the presence of Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics of Iran.

Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, called the Khorramshahr-4 missile a strategic pinpoint ballistic missile with radar evasion capability. In some parts of his speech, he said the message of the unveiling of the Khorramshahr-4 missile to Iran’s friends is helping peace and stability in the region and providing comprehensive support to countries that are on the path of fighting against the arrogance system.

Khorramshahr-4 missile is considered to be the newest variant of the Khorramshahr missile series, which has undergone major changes in various parts. Among the most important of these changes, we can point out the use of hypergolic fuel and a new engine. Khorramshahr-4 is equipped with Arvand engine, one of the most advanced Iranian liquid fuel engines, in order to use hypergallic fuel.

A hypergolic propellant is a rocket propellant combination used in a rocket engine, whose components spontaneously ignite when they come into contact with each other. The main advantages of hypergolic propellants are that they can be stored as liquids at room temperature and that engines which are powered by them are easy to ignite reliably and repeatedly. Hypergolically-fueled rocket engines are usually simple and reliable because they need no ignition system. As hypergolic rockets do not need an ignition system, they can fire any number of times by simply opening and closing the propellant valves until the propellants are exhausted and are therefore uniquely suited for spacecraft maneuvering.[source]

The launch moment of Khorramshahr-4 ballistic missile

Another feature of this missile is the ability to store fuel inside the Khorramshahr-4 missile for several years. Using this ability, it is possible to inject fuel into the rocket and keep it in storage for several years. For this reason, the rocket is always ready to fire and there is no need to spend long time for refueling again. Therefore, the preparation time and entering the launch position has reached less than 12 minutes.

According to statements and information provided by military sources, the range of Khorramshahr-4 missile is up to 2000 km and its warhead is 1500 kg. But based on some facts, it seems that the range of the missile is intentionally announced lower than its actual range. In general, the warhead of this missile with a length of 4 meters and a weight of 1,500 kg is one of the largest and heaviest warheads produced by Iran, which is also resistant to electronic warfare. It should be noted that out of this 1,500 kg, about 1,000 kg are explosives and 500 kg are related to engine, guidance, equipment, etc. The warhead of this missile can be single and heavy or in the form of several lighter warheads, and it also uses various warheads such as thermobaric warheads.
The point here is that in this warhead, guiding micromotors are used to control and adjust its trajectory outside the Earth’s atmosphere. For example, by reducing the weight of the warhead by half and increasing the amount of fuel, and with the use of guiding micromotors in the mid-phase in exoatmosphere, the range of this missile can easily be increased up to twice the declared range!

Review of the performance of launch, guidance and control in the mid-phase outside the atmosphere in Khorramshahr-4 missile

The speed of Khorramshahr-4 is Mach 16 outside the atmosphere and Mach 8 inside the atmosphere before hitting the target, and the circular probable error (CEP) of 10 to 30 meters is also expected for this missile. The speed of Mach 16 outside the earth’s atmosphere and the use of guidance engines to control and adjust the trajectory of the warhead makes it very hard for the outer space missile systems to intercept and destroy this missile. Also, the speed of Mach 8 in the final phase in the atmosphere is a very good speed, making it very difficult to detect, track and intercept by existing anti-missile systems.

One day after the unveiling of the Khorramshahr 4 missile, Deputy Defense Minister General Farahi provided more information about this missile in a television interview. According to him, unlike previously built missiles whose guidance and control system was in the atmosphere and there was a possibility of jamming and electronic interference by the enemy, guidance and control of Khorramshahr 4 is done outside the atmosphere, and its guidance and control systems are not active inside the atmosphere, and therefore, electronic warfare systems have no effect on the Khorramshahr 4 missile.
Also, in addition to this feature, this missile uses a cyber defense system and using artificial intelligence with the necessary maneuverability, it can deceive the enemy’s defense systems and escape from the enemy’s missiles. He stated the circle of error (CEP) of Khorramshahr 4 missile up to 30 meters at a distance of 2000 km, and the durability of the fuel inside the missile was also stated to be a maximum of 3 years.
Among the other capabilities of Khorramshahr 4 is the ability to use radar and optical seeker individually or simultaneously with the use of artificial intelligence to target moving sea and land targets, which is installed on the missile depending on the type of mission and target.

Khorramshahr 4 (Khaybar) missile will further boost the offensive and defensive capabilities of Islamic Republic of Iran. The country has been working nonstop to develop its missile capabilities in order to deal with increasing threats from the United States and the Israel regime. Tehran’s large missile program achieved a number of breakthroughs in the last few years, despite facing strict sanctions and even sabotage.

Khorramshahr 4 missile specifications:
Length: ~ 13 meters
Diameter: ~ 1.5 meters
Weight: ~ 30 tons
Warhead weight: 1500 kg
Range: 2000 km
Accuracy: 10 to 30 meters CEP
Fuel: Hypergolic – single stage
Speed: Mach 16 outside the atmosphere – Mach 8 inside the atmosphere
Introduction: May 25, 2023
Origin: Iran

Khorramshahr 4 medium-range ballistic missile – click to view in full size

More iamges of Khorramshahr 4 missile:

“Khorramshahr 4 (Khaybar) missile” posters collection in Farsi, Russian, Arabic, Azeri, Kurdish and Hebrew:

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