On the last day of the “Great Prophet 17” exercise, Iran unveiled for the first time the exo-atmospheric trajectory maneuvering technology of its detachable warheads for Qadr medium-range ballistic missile.
The technology or maneuverability of warhead outside atmosphere is performed with the help of pressurized gas thrusts or dual liquid fuel, and by changing the direction of the warhead, the trajectory is variable and the exact direction of the warhead is unpredictable. Therefore, this capability greatly reduces the chances of an air defense missile hitting a warhead.
Zolfaghar family missile including the Dezful are claimed to have got added an exo-atmospheric maneuvering capability.
Awaiting footage of thrusters on RV. May just be very high altitude aerodynamic maneuvering via the large fins.
Purpose: ➡️ countering THAAD and Arrow-3. pic.twitter.com/QZ7auDqZcm
— Patarames (@Pataramesh) January 15, 2021
The exo-atmospheric trajectory maneuvering technology, in addition to increase accuracy, guiding and maneuvering of Qadr missile in the atmosphere enhances its penetrability against missile defenses.
The maneuverability of medium- to high-range ballistic missile warheads can be achieved in two ways: maneuverability outside the atmosphere and hypersonic flight in the atmosphere. Considering the challenges of hypersonic wave rider warheads such as temperature management, guidance, materials and manufacturing process, the exo-atmospheric maneuvering method seems to be the most optimal option considering the performance, cost and time to upgrade conventional ballistic missile warheads in order to escape the air defense missiles.
For example, in this method, the old warheads can be upgraded and there is no need to use new complex and expensive refractory materials; The base design of the warheads does not change much and there is no need to design from the base.
According to studies, apparently the only country that has officially unveiled and used exo-atmospheric maneuvering technology so far is Russia and the Topol-MR intercontinental ballistic missile. Now, with this unveiling, Iran is one of the owners of this technology.