The Ra’ad (not to be confused with Pakistan’s Ra’ad cruise missile) is an Iranian antiship cruise missile of Chinese origin. The Ra’ad went into full production in 2004, and entered service in 2007. It has a reported range of 350 km.
Ra’ad at a Glance
Originated from: China, Iran
Possessed by: Iran
Class: Subsonic antiship cruise missile
Basing: Mobile ground- / sea-launched
Length: 7.36 m
Launch weight: 3,000 kg
Payload: 450-500 kg
Propulsion: Solid-propellant, turbojet engine
Range: 350 km
In service: 2007-present
In the 1980s, Iran began purchasing Chinese Hai Ying (HY series; NATO designation: ‘Silkworm’) missiles. Iran subsequently reengineered a Hai Ying missile – likely the HY-4 ‘Sadsack’ – to create an indigenous variant, decrease foreign expenditure, and even improve upon the original design.1 Iran likely began development of the Ra’ad to strengthen its coastal defenses. The missile was developed by the state-run Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO).
Iran reportedly began full production of the Ra’ad in January 2004.2 The missile was originally equipped for ground and ship-launched platforms, although future variants may include an air-launched system.3
The Ra’ad has a reported length of 7.36 m, a body diameter of 0.76 m, and launch weight of approximately 3,000 kg. Its payload weight is between 450-500 kg. It uses a solid-propellant booster and turbojet engine. The Ra’ad employs inertial navigation system guidance and a terminal seeker (likely imaging infrared or active radar).4 The missile has a range of approximately 350 km, and may also have sea-skimming capabilities, flying at low-altitudes to evade radar detection and missile defenses.5
The Ra’ad was successfully test fired on February 7, 2007.6 Speaking on the matter, Deputy Air Force Commander Ali Fadavi said “We have successfully test fired a cruise missile called SSN4, or Raad, hitting targets 300 kilometers away in the Sea of Oman and northern Indian Ocean.”7 The missile reportedly entered service around this time.
The Ra’ad is primarily deployed along the Iranian coast and on various naval vessels.10 More specifically, Iran has likely deployed its Ra’ad missiles in its military bases in Abadan (along the Iran-Iraq border) and Bandar Abbas (in the Strait of Hormuz).11