Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iran Supplies MANPADS to Insurgents

In a story that has some concern to me personally...

US military spokesman Rear Admiral Mark Fox told reporters in Baghdad that Iran was shifting sophisticated arms such as "RPG-29s, explosively-formed penetrators (EFPs), 240 mm rockets and Misagh-1 surface-to-air missiles" across its borders into Iraq.

The Misagh 1 is an Iranian man-portable infrared guided surface to air missile. It was developed by the Shahid Kazemi Industrial Complex in Tehran and is an all-aspect passive infrared homing system. It is a variant of the Chinese QW-1 Vanguard missile system.

Here's some info about the QW-1...

The missile reportedly is the Chinese version of 9K310 (SA-16 Gimlet) Igla-1 missile systems incorporating some features of FIM-92 Stinger. According to many domestic Chinese media sources and some sources outside China, Chinese obtained the Soviet samples via Zaire from UNITA captured 9K310 (SA-16) Igla-1 missile from Angola governmental forces.

Meanwhile back home, people are having discussions over tea with the leader of a nation(the same nation that is giving arms to people who are trying to kill me) that would kill all of them in a heartbeat if he could get away with it.


Of course there are those that view this story with a skeptical eye, which is easy to do if someone is not shooting these things at you.

Mr. David Axe at the blog Danger Room points out that knockoffs of knockoffs are rarely effective (which is true enough in and of itself), claiming that the Misagh 1 is effectively a knockoff of a QW-1 which is in turn a knockoff of a SA-16. Not really so, without getting into too much detail...the QW-1 as I posted above is a blend of STINGER and FSU MANPADS. The QW-1 was then exported to and built by Iran as the Misagh 1...it's not really clear if that was done as an export license deal, or if the Iranians just ripped off the Chinese design. But I would say characterizing this weapon system as a rip off of a rip off deliberately underplays the seriousness of this threat. But you can do that when you think you know more than everyone else and you write about things rather than do them.

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