The Tondar 69 is an Iranian short-range ballistic missile. In 1989, Iran reportedly purchased 200 M-7 (CSS-8) SRBMs with transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) from China and renamed the system Tondar 69. It is the first Iranian ballistic missile to use solid fuel.
Tondar 69 at a Glance
Originated from: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Possessed by: Iran
Class: Short-Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM)
Length: 10.8 m
Diameter: 0.65 m (first stage), 0.5 m (second stage)
Launch weight: 2,650 kg
Payload: Single warhead, 250 kg
Warhead: High explosive (HE)
Propulsion: Two-stage solid propellant
Range: 150 km
In service: 1992-present
Tondar 69 Development
The Chinese M-7 was originally designed from the Soviet S-75 surface-to-air missile (SAM). Iran reportedly purchased 200 M-7 (CSS-8) SRBMs with transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) from China 1989, and renamed the system Tondar 69 (translation: “Thunder 69”).1
As of 2012, the U.S. estimates that Iran has kept approximately 200 Tondar 69 missiles and 20 TEL vehicles in service.4
The missile has a reported length of 10.8 m, a body diameter of 0.65 (first-stage) and 0.5 m (second-stage), and a launch weight of 2,650 kg. The missile carries a single 250 kg high-explosive warhead. A two-staged missile, the Tondar 69 has a maximum range of a 150 km and uses solid-fuel. It employs inertial navigation system (INS) guidance with command updates.5
The Tondar 69 entered service in 1992. Reports indicate that Iranian leaders were unsatisfied with the missile, with most pointing to its poor accuracy and light warhead.6 Iran subsequently began development of the Fateh-110 SRBM, which also uses solid-fuel.7
- “Tondar 69,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, ed. Jane’s C O’Halloran (United Kingdom: IHS, 2016), 50.
- “Iran Tests Missiles Amid Nuclear Tension,” CNN, September 27, 2009, http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/09/27/iran.missile.test/index.html?eref=onion.
- “Iran Missile Milestones: 1985-2016,” Iran Watch, July 13, 2016, http://www.iranwatch.org/our-publications/weapon-program-background-report/iran-missile-milestones-1985-2016.
- Steven Hildreth, “Iran’s Ballistic Missile and Space Launch Programs,” Congressional Research Service, 64, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R42849.pdf.
- Jane’s Weapons: Strategic, 50-51.
- Anthony Cordesman & Martin Kleiber, Iran’s Military Forces and Warfighting Capabilities: The Threat in the Northern Gulf, (USA: CSIS, 2007), 152, https://books.google.com/books?id=ReHSixF6ax8C&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Tondar+69&source=bl&ots=hSemmPWxyp&sig=eoaX2YkzOQkblqFpfxJZ4bfVYPI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT9vn6krTWAhXJgFQKHVETA_o4ChDoAQg0MAI#v=onepage&q=Tondar%2069&f=false.
- Jane’s Weapons: Strategic, 51.